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3 1833 01239 7185 

The Duke of Richmond and Gordon, K.G. 

From the painting by Sir George Reid, i'.K.S.A., in Gordon Castle. 

The Gordon Rook 


Published for Set Forth in 

the Bazaar of Type Produced 

the Fochabers and Printed by 

Read i no Room The Rosemount 

September mcmii Press Aberdeen 


9*9. & 


The Object of this Book. 

f HIS Book has been prepared in connection with the Bazaar 
held to raise funds to build a Public Institute at Fochabers. 
An attempt has bzen made to make the Book one of strong local 
interest. It has been built up round the family of the, Duke of 
Richmond and Gordon, in view op the close relationship of his House 
with the town op Fochabers, and the keen interest which His Grace, 
and the members op his family, have always displayed in the Library 
and Reading-room. The Editor (who has never set foot in Foch- 
abers) has to thank the various contributors, and the local Committee, 
notably Mr. John Tully, for their assistance. 

Zhe IRicbmonb anb (Sorbons 
at (Sorbon Castle. 

T) ICHMOND, Gordon, Lennox ! How these illustrious and noble 
^^ titles and names make our memories and imaginations course 
through the history of Scotland, England — even of the Continent of 
Europe. By one retrospective bound, we are in the earldom of Lennox 
with King Malcolm Canmore. A move nearer to this present century, 
and we are encamped by Gordon Castle with the courageous and 
intrepid Graham, Earl of Montrose. Again, we are amongst the din 
and turmoil of the Peninsular War, away at Orthez, weeping with the 
great Duke of Wellington over a brave and plucky British officer who 
is struck down with a bullet and the surgeons pronounced the wound 

Nearer still, the fourth Duke of Gordon, fearing that his son 
would die without issue — which he did — -has entailed his estates on his 
noble grandson. Then we find the princely estates attached to Gordon 
Castle devolving to Charles, fifth Duke of Richmond, whose (maternal) 
grandparents were Alexander, the fourth Duke of Gordon, and the 
romantic, genial, and generous Duchess, Jane Maxwell. Another move 
forward of the mind, and we arrive at the date when the Russian War 
is ended, and Europe, to all intents and purposes, has started on a 
new era of peace. 

See the father and mother of the present Duke of Richmond 
and Gordon ! Around them, their young daughters ; the Earl of 
March (now our beloved Duke), with his own family; his brothers, 
Lords Henry, Alexander, and George. What a galaxy of true nobility! 
See the soldier father (who, by the careful nursing of his army 
surgeon, Dr. Hair, did not succumb to the enemy's bullet at Orthez), 

6 The Gordon Book 

the hero of many a war-like struggle on the battlefields of the Penin- 
sula ; the brave, the ever reliable, and favourite officer oi Wellington ; 
the aide-de-camp who never flinched from duty, however hazardous ; 
who spent continuous days and nights in the saddle, alone in the enemy's 
territory, with nothing but his goodly sword by his side, literally cutting 
his way to reach the goal, with despatches on which Britain's fate 
depended (vixere fortes ante Agamemnona) ; the history of whose in- 
domitable "go" and pluck eclipse anything in the military records of 
purely legitimate service; the soldier's friend, courteous, kind, impartial, 
but firm ; first in the orderly room, always ready for parade; possessed 
of singleness of purpose, depth of affection for his home, his children, 
and their adored mother — Charles, fifth Duke of Richmond, is a 
splendid type of what a British officer should be. 

See his noble Duchess (the eldest daughter of Lord Anglesey, 
the hero of Sahagun), possessing every quality that can grace a 
woman's character, and a beauty unmatched ; a loving mother ; a 
devoted, affectionate wife ; her noble husband, her home, her children, 
her grandchildren, being her only care, her only joy. Even now I see 
them, far away as it may seem, when Alma and Inkerman had just 
been fought, and the memory of these battles was but green, enjoying 
in the autumn, after a long journey from their English estate, Good- 
wood, Sussex, the bracing and invigorating freedom of their Highland 
home at Castle Gordon, having, for the nonce, quitted the sultry 
atmosphere of the London season, to chase the red deer, follow the 
roe, or land the trout and salmon by the banks of the rapid Spey. 

Finding that the satisfactory control of the extensive Gordon 
estates called for much anxious energy and exhaustive administration, 
his Grace, resolved to do his utmost for his tenantry, had reluctantly 
retired from active service ; and at the date mentioned is devoted to 
agriculture. At the Smithheld cattle shows his Southdowns carry 
everything before them. They are not only reared at Goodwood, but 
they are descended from sheep bred there. Here is a thorough and 

Gordon Castle. 

From a Photograph, taken specially lor this book, by Mr. W. F. Webster, Chanonry, Old Aberdeen. 

The Richmond and Gordons at Gordon Castle 7 

a veritable English farmer for you. Ever a friend to the old soldier 
and veteran, he is also a splendid friend to the agriculturist. He 
holds all cant and hypocrisy in utter detestation. Rigidly adhering 
to the close observance of the Sabbath especially, he always sets a 
pious example, and is firmly attached to the Protestant religion ; a 
soldier and a man ! 

But time brings changes, and the benevolent nobleman, soldier, 
and statesman has been laid to rest with his forefathers, his eldest 
son, our present Duke of Richmond and Gordon, succeeding him. 
Inheriting the same nobleness of character, undaunted courage (for 
he has been a soldier, and also aide-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington), 
the generous courtesy — in fact, all the grand attributes of his parents — 
with unerring and splendid dignity he graces the Dukedoms of 
Richmond and Gordon. Near him, the Duchess, a devoted wife and 
mother ; around them, a familv of true distinction, two daughters and 
four sons — -Lords March, Algernon, Francis, and Walter. With 
graceful courtliness, how they have, one and all, made themselves 
beloved by Fochabers, which has affectionately watched them reach 
womanhood and manhood; followed them especially with sympathetic 
anxiety, when Britain called upon her sons to fight for her in South 

The Earl of March, with the fervent patriotism of a Richmond 
and Gordon, the soul of a soldier, dedicated his life in South Africa 
for his King and country, and, with the daring that nerved his 
noble grandfather, went out at the head of his regiment. See Lord 
Algernon (Algy), free, frank, manly, the very ideal of an athletic field 
officer. His career and achievements in the service, his reputation 
as a soldier, add lustre to the already grand military scroll of the 
Richmond and Gordon family. Never of a robust nature, Lord 
Walter, the ever urbane and kind, was not justified, phvsically, in 
turning his mind to the art of war. As a politician, he has proved he 
is made of sterling metal. He has also proved that he inherits all the 

8 The Gordon Book 

courage and resolution of the Richmond and Gordon family. In the 
next generation the military spirit is again dominant. At the out- 
break of the recent war, the three sons of the Earl of March unhesi- 
tatingly threw themselves into the breach and served with distinction. 
Lord Settrington, the second in direct succession to the Dukedom, 
now a captain in the Irish Guards, became aide-de-camp to Lord 
Roberts, and received the D.S.O. His two brothers, the Hon. 
Esme, of the Scots Guards, and the Hon. Bernard, of the Grenadier 
Guards, also endured the hardships of the campaign. 

A brief glance at a few of the many acts of kindness the family 
have done for Fochabers. At a most critical, perhaps the most 
important moment of the history of the town, Providence seems to 
have sent Charles, the fifth Duke of Richmond, amongst them to 
rescue a heritage, which, through the difficulties and complications of 
international law, seemed lost to Fochabers beyond recovery — the 
splendid bequest of Milne (the founder of Milne's Free School, 
Fochabers), he (it is a story that cannot be related too frequently) 
who, after amassing a fortune in New Orleans, left many thousands of 
dollars to give free education to the town and parish of his birth. 
Mountains of legal obstacles faced Fochabers, which to this day refuses 
to house a lawyer. The Duke of Richmond, however, like the soldier 
he was, stormed the law citadels of America, and ultimately he 
rescued the Milne bequest from the iron grip of litigation, and never 
rested until he saw the precious heritage of free education safe in 
Scotland and Milne's Free School erected in Fochabers. That is 
only one instance of the Duke's many kindnesses, but it proves con- 
clusively that in the lexicon of the Richmonds there is no such word 
as fail. 

Coming to his son, the present Duke, every want, everything that 
will add to the comfort, happiness, and well-being of the inhabitants 
of Fochabers and his numerous tenants, he seems to anticipate. 
Seeing that it would be a great boon and comfort to the town, he 

Four Generations. 

This picture shows His Grace the Duke of Richmond and Gordon (born 1818) ; his son (seated 
beside him) the Earl of March, born 1845 ; the latter's son (standing) Lord Settrington, born 1870; and 
the latter's son, the Hon. Charles Gordon-Lennox, born 1899, who is third in succession to the 
Dukedom. This picture is reproduced by the courtesy of James Russell & Sons, Baker Street, 

The Richmond and Gordons at Gordon Castle 9 

introduces, free of charge, a water supply. When the local curling 
club cried out for a pond, his Grace generously surrendered one of 
the most sylvan nooks of his picturesquely wooded "ward" for their 
special use. Seeing that golf could not be played by the inhabitants 
without links, or an ample course of some sort, he again came to the 
rescue of the enthusiasts with a noble sweep of green sward within a 
stone's throw of his very "entry" door; and where is the town, so 
happy blessed, that can boast of a cricket park for the special use of 
its youth, generously given free by the lord of the manor ? As a 
landlord, he stands unequalled. Many and many a tenant-farmer 
has reason to bless his name. The reductions for the last twenty 
years in his rent-roll redound and testify to his Grace's noble 
generosity. Kind hearted, condescending, and with a personal care 
for the interests and welfare of every employee and servant (even the 
humblest), and all his estate staff, he is universally beloved. 

His mother was untiring in ministering to the wants of the needy, 
and of every one. Accompanied by her youngest daughter, Lady 
Cecilia (now Lady Lucan), she was to be seen daily carrying comfort 
in the shape of tins of soup, to the bedside of the poor invalid, or 
ordering yards upon yards of the best flannel to bring warmth to a 
distressed sufferer. She was passionately fond of the beautiful, and 
especially of flowers, and the spacious gardens of Gordon Castle 
engrossed her loving attention. Resolved that they should vie with the 
very best in the Kingdom, she set to work with characteristic energy, 
and discovered in the late Charles Duncan, a son of Fochabers, whose 
forefathers had been attached to the Castle, one whose natural artistic 
instinct and experienced capacity — -inspired by her fine taste and by 
the advice of Sir Joshua Jebb, a life-long friend of the Richmonds — 
<rave to the gardens of Castle Gordon those noble fountains, classic 
and graceful vases, handsome centre adornments, presentments of 
stags, miles of balustrading, which stand now, clean and fresh as when 
they were done. It was an engrossing pastime to her, for, at the 

io The Gordon Book 

time, the loss of her dear son, the kind-hearted, ill-fated Fitzroy, 
plunged her in great grief, and the emotional strain on her tender, 
noble, and motherly heart caused the gravest apprehension. 

In such a survey of close on fifty years, it can be no matter for 
wonder that death should have made some blanks in the family. His 
Grace is now the only surviving son left of five. His noble sister, 
Her Serene Highness Princess Edward of Saxe Weimar (Lady 
Augusta), and her devoted soldier husband (who was wounded in the 
trenches at the Crimea) His Serene Highness Prince Edward of Saxe 
Weimar, are well, and never forget Castle Gordon. His Grace's 
youngest sister Lady Lucan (Lady Cecilia) and her husband, Lord 
Lucan, and their distinguished soldier sons and daughters are well. 
Keen was the Duke's paternal grief when his beloved daughter, Lady 
Florence, and his handsome soldier son, Lord Francis, were taken. 

Keener and more poignant still, when his much-loved Duchess 
(a daughter of the distinguished Greville) died fifteen years ago. 
Her life's work was devoted to emulating the splendid example 
of her husband's mother in unforgettable acts of kindness and 
charity. She was universally beloved by great and small. For many 
years it was only too transparent that some of the houses in the town 
(improvised dwellings originally, the majority of them) had served 
their purpose, and that, from every point of view, demolition would be 
the best and only alternative. Her Grace promptly came to the 
rescue, secured as much of the decayed and decaying property as 
quickly as she could, and, on the ruins, erected homes that are not 
only more comfortable and commodious, but are certainlv more 
ornamental and convenient. Again, with her broad and philanthropic 
instincts, she grasped a situation that ought to have long been 
apparent to the inhabitants, — the encouragement of intellectual im- 
provements ; in fine, the establishment of the present Fochabers 
Reading-Room and Library. We all know how generouslv and 
successfully she inaugurated this Institution, and how valuable were 

George, ist Duke of Gordon, with his Sox and Daughter. 

This picture, painted by Sir John Baptist-Medina (1659-1710), shows the ist Duke (seated), his 
son, the 2nd Duke, and his daughter Jane, who became Duchess of Perth. The Duke was born in 1643, 
and succeeded his father as 4th Marquis of Huntly in 1653. He married Lady Elizabeth Howard, 
daughter of the 6th Duke of Norfolk, and like her, was a Roman Catholic. He died at Leith in rjie. 

The Richmond and Gordons at Gordon Castle n 

the many volumes Gordon Castle bequeathed at the initial stage 
of the Library's existence. To-day the Reading-Room is an 
indispensable factor in the history of the town. Indeed, it has 
succeeded so well that more commodious premises are an imperative 
necessity, and at this moment a scheme has been framed for the 
carrying out of this object. Here, again, the Richmond and Gordon 
family are to the front in well-doing. 

His Grace's only daughter, Lady Caroline Gordon-Lennox, 
whose kindness to the poor equals that of her mother or grandmother, 
has, with a characteristic energy, resolved to do her very best for this 
laudable endeavour. It was she who determined that the bazaar should 
be held in the autumn of 1902 within the grounds of Gordon Castle, 
under her personal supervision and arrangement, so as to bring 
practical help to the building funds. 

The generous and disinterested kindness of the Richmond and 
Gordons would, therefore, appear to be inexhaustible. The town of 
Fochabers is indeed a highly favoured spot — -lying, as it does, under 
the shadow of the noble Castle of the Gordons, with a gracious, kind, 
and commanding Duke ; near him, his eldest son, the warm-hearted 
Earl of March, and his Grace's only daughter, Lady Caroline ; with 
the conviction that the owner of the very ground they walk on has 
his finger on every spot of their simple lives, and that his only care is 
to study affectionately the welfare of every parent, child, and tenant 
around him, Fochabers is indeed supremely blessed. 

George Roy Duncan. 
London, iqth jfiuie, 1902. 

Zo 1bev (Brace. 

I bend the knee before your Grace, 
Whose laughing eyes and sunny face 

Sir Joshua's genius has displayed. 

And when, perchance, his colours fade 
You still must hold an honoured place. 

To you, who led in Fashion's trace, 
Who made the dance fight dice and ace, 

And dressed the dames in tartan plaid, 
I bend the knee. 

The restless days slip past apace — 

Forgetful is the populace : 

Yet Time but makes the Maxwell maid 
The greater Queen. Your brave brigade 

Keeps bright your name. To all the race 
I bend the knee. 

j. m. B. 

TV /T ANY memories circle round her Grace ; but the Duchess has 
^ * never got her due, at least in the shape of formal biography. 
Yet posterity could no more forget her than it could pass over Mrs. 
Siddons, for she had in a supreme degree that mysterious gift of 
personality which forces the possessor on the attention of contem- 
poraries, and sometimes of posterity. Her connection with the region 
which remembers her most affectionately was largely a geographical 
accident. Indeed, she was indebted to the North for practically 
nothing, save that social elevation which gave her a fitting stage on 
which she could play her life story to some purpose. Independent of 
that, almost in defiance of it, she made her way to the heart of her 
contemporaries in general and of her consort's tenantry in particular. 
Jane Maxwell is indeed a figure that cannot fade from the eighteenth 
century social history. 

Her personal magnetism was of that large, florid type which belongs 
essentially to the actor's temperament. It was, necessarily, a person- 
ality that was the object of much adverse criticism, because it raised 
many jealousies. No sooner did she appear in any circle of society 
than she at once dominated it. Horace Walpole called her the 
" Empress of Fashion ; " and even Wraxall, who said some nasty 
things about her Grace, was compelled to admit that few women have 
performed a more conspicuous part or occupied a higher place in the 
"theatre of fashion, politics, and dissipation;" he even goes on to declare 
that "the season never commenced without her arrival in town." She 
held court in London and in Edinburgh, where everybody who was 
anybody flocked to her salons ; while she entered into the life of her 

14 The Gordon Book 

husband's stay-at-home tenants with the touch of sympathetic appre- 
ciation which can never be forgotten. 

Scattered up and down the gossip of her time you will find in- 
numerable references to her Grace. In fact, few figures in the 
eighteenth century admit of a clearer portraiture, and yet nobody has 
taken the trouble to paint a picture of the witty Duchess. In lieu of 
a definite canvas, I have simply strung together a few of the impressions 
of her contemporaries, for they speak much more directly than I could 
possibly do. 

It adds greatly to a clear conception of her Grace's personality if 
one remembers that Jane Maxwell was not born in the North, which 
is built, I take it, on qualities essentially antagonistic to her methods. 
She was the second daughter of Sir William Maxwell, the third baronet 
of Monreith, in Wigtownshire ; and her mother was a Blair. She was 
born in Hyndford's Close, in Edinburgh, and was brought up vigor- 
ously, and in comparative poverty— which, however, in no way damped 
her enormous spirits. She was an inveterate optimist ; in girlhood, a 
bit of a hoyden ; as a mature woman, energetic to a fault. Luck came 
to her as a girl of eighteen, for she won the hand and heart of the 
greatest nobleman in the land, namely, the fourth Duke of Gordon, 
who had succeeded his father at the age of nine. The marriage took 
place in Edinburgh on October 23rd, 1767, at the house of her brother- 
in-law, Fordyce of Ayton, who had married her elder sister ; and from 
that day to the time of her death, forty-five years later, she was a figure 
to be reckoned with in the world of fashion. 

The Duchess was a wonderfully pretty girl, and became a hand- 
some, rather than a beautiful, woman. Even in 1800, when she was 
almost fifty, a critic, who was the soul of candour, 

Her Beauty. 

writing in Public C haractcrs, says : — ■ 

Her Grace is somewhat above the middle size, very finely shaped, though 
now considerably embonpoint. Her face is oval, with dark, expressive eyes, 
very regular features, fine complexion, and a most engaging expression. 

The Due of the Duchess 15 

The energy of her Grace was, as Dominie Sampson might say, 

" prodeegious." Wraxall, who calls it " almost unparalleled," says 

that, on the discomfiture of Burgoyne's army, she set off, 
Her Energy. 

in the midst of winter, for the Highlands, and, by her 

personal exertions, raised a troop of volunteers. Walpole, writing to 
Miss Berry in 1791, tells her that the Duchess, " one of the Empresses 
of Fashion, uses fifteen or sixteen hours of her twenty-four " : — 

I heard her journal of last Monday. She went first to Handel's music in the 
Abbey. She then clambered over the benches and went to Hasting's trial in the 
hall ; after dinner to the play, then to Lord Lucan's assembly, after that to Ranelagh, 
and returned to Mrs. Hobart's faro table ; gave a ball herself in the evening— or 
that morning, into which she must have got a good way ; and set out for Scot- 
land next day. Hercules could not have achieved a quarter of her labours in the 
same space of time. 

The Duchess had many admirers. Thus we find in his Memoirs 

that Robert, Earl Nugent, who died in 1788, composed verses to 

her when Lord Temple (father of the first Marquis of 

Her Admirers. . 

Buckingham), whom Walpole calls the " absolute 

creature of Pitt," entertained her and the Duke at Stowe in 1776, 
and lighted up a grotto for her reception. Lieutenant-General Grant, 
writing to Lord Cornwallis, January 10, 1787, says : — 

Sir John Macpherson, Bart. (Agent for the Carnatic), flatters the Duchess of 
Gordon by obeying all her commands, and telling her that she must consider 
herself as Governor-General while he remains in office, and begging to have the 
honour of attending the Marquis of Huntly upon his travels when he returns to 
Europe ; which is no bad line of paying court to our grand Duchess. 

The Duchess had various houses in London from time to time, 
evidently preferring to lease a house instead of setting up a regular 
The Duchess's London residence. In 1787, she was living at 10 
London Houses. Upper Grosvenor Street. In 1788, she occupied a 
house in Pall Mall, belonging to the xMarquis of Buckingham, 
whose father, Lord Temple, she had known so well. According 

1 6 The Gordon Book 

to the Gentlemen s Magazine, it was in this house that she nearly 
met her death on March 20, 1789 : — ■ 

As her Grace, with her daughter, was waiting the coming up of her carriage 
at her house in Pall Mall, a flying spark fell on the gauze dress of her Grace, and 
set it on fire, and, but for the presence of mind of Lady Charlotte, would have 
been in a flame. Providentially, her Grace received no injury, except for the 
fright. But Lady Charlotte's arms were somewhat scorched. 

In 1797, the Duchess was living in Piccadilly, and the marriage of her 
daughter Louise, with Viscount Brome, afterwards Marquis Cornwallis, 
took place there on April 17 of that year. The Duchess gave a dance 
at Piccadilly in July, 1801. It was in this house that her brother Sir 
William Maxwell's daughter, Madeline, was married, May 18, 1801, 
to James du Pre of Walton Park, Bucks, and thus became the grand- 
mother of Mr. Labouchere. The Duchess lived at No. 6 St. James's 
Square, while the owner, the fourth Earl of Bristol, was absent on the 
Continent, sometime between 1788-99. She seems to have had a 
house in Portman Square in the spring of 1805, for I have before me a 
letter written to a friend in the North from this address. In 1806, she 
had a lease of No. 16 St. James's Square, then occupied by the first 
Lord Anson, and now by the East India United Service Club. 

Amid much nonsense which has been talked about that phan- 
tom, the New Woman, is the idea that the woman who takes an 
Her London active share in anything but the house and hearth is a 
Salon. modern product. The Duchess of Gordon was a figure 

to be reckoned with in Imperial politics quite a century ago, while 
she, the two Duchesses of Devonshire, and her Grace of Rutland 
occupied a position of power which is represented by no living Eng- 
lishwomen. One epigram of the period hits them cleverly oh in lines 
very characteristic of the period — ■ 

Come, Paris, leave your hills and dells, 

You'll scorn your dowdy goddesses 
If once you sec our English belles, 

P"or all their gowns and boddices. 

The Famous Jane Maxwell, Wife of the 4x11 Duke of Gordon. 

This is a reproduction of Sir Joshua Reynold's famous picture which hangs in Gordon Castle and 
has been frequently engraved. The Duchess, Jane Maxwell, was the second daughter of Sir William 
Maxwell, 3rd Bart, of Monreith, Wigtonshire. Born in 174S, she married the 4th Duke of Gordon in 
1767, and died in London, April r4, 1812, at the age of 64. It was she who raised the Gordon High- 
landers for her son, the 5th and last Duke of Gordon. 

The Due of the Duchess 17 

Here's Juno Devon ; all sublime, 

Minerva Gordon's wit and eyes ; 
Sweet Rutland, Venus in her prime : 

You'll die before you give the prize. 

That inveterate gossip, Sir Nathaniel Wraxall, who celebrated the 
year of Waterloo by publishing his delightful, if somewhat malicious, 
memoirs, accounts for her power : — 

She was not feminine in person, manners, or mind ; her features, however 
noble and regular, always animated, constantly in play, never deficient in vivacity 
or intelligence, yet displayed no timidity. They were sometimes overclouded by 
occasional frowns of anger and vexation ; much more frequently lighted up with 
smiles. Her conversation bore a very strong analogy to her intellectual forma- 
tion. Exempted by her sex, rank, and beauty from those restraints imposed on 
women by the generally recognised usages of society, the Duchess of Gordon 
frequently dispensed with their observance. Such characteristics, however de- 
tracting from our interest in her as a pattern of feminine life, were in the highest 
degree desirable to the leading political powers of the day, who were most 
eager to avail themselves of the influence which her personal attractions, high 
mental powers, and lofty status gave her against their more feminine, but most 
potent rival, the Duchess of Devonshire. Whilst the latter won the hearts of 
coal-heavers to Fox and the Opposition, the former acted as the " whipper-in " 
to Pitt and the Ministry. Her elegant mansion in Pall Mall, crowded with 
every refined excitement to pleasure, was rendered quite subservient to political 
purposes ; and, by the energetic aid of its members, was made to render her 
political friends good service. She even acted as a " whipper-in " of Ministers. 
Confiding in her rank, her sex, and personal attractions, she ventured to send for 
Members of Parliament to question, to remonstrate, to use every means for con- 
forming their adherence to the Government. 

Her Grace had a "groom of the chamber," Mr. Matthias D'Amour, 
a Belgian, who had an unbounded admiration for her, and gives us a 
most intimate picture of her salon in his now forgotten Memoirs, which 
were published in the year 1836. He tells us, to take one instance, 
that — ■ 

The members of the Administration, then under the guidance of Mr. Pitt 
[who was descended from an Innes of Reidhall], not infrequently met around 
our [!] table, affording me delightful opportunities of peeping behind the scenes 
of government. These parties were always individually invited by Mr. Pitt 
himself. We only knew the number, but not the names, of the personages expected. 


iS The Gordon Book 

On one occasion when we were expecting the Prime Minister and his colleagues to 
supper, her Grace, beginning to feel impatient as it grew late, requested me to 
send to the House of Commons and try to ascertain by some means if the House 
was likely to break up soon. The messenger brought word that Mr. Dundas was 
upon his legs ; but nothing further could be learnt. When they came, the 
Duchess, in expressing her apprehension that the supper was spoiled, asked Mr. 
Dundas, " What in the name of wonder induced him to make a speech that 
night ? " adding that " she had sent her compliments to Mr. Fox, requesting him, 
as a favour, not to make a long speech." Mr. Pitt laughed heartily, and remarked, 
with singular liberality, " Mr. Fox has not obeyed your Grace ; he has made a 
long speech, decidedly the best which I ever heard within the walls of Parlia- 
ment." I was often astonished, especially when Mr. Pitt was present, out of what 
trifles they [the Duchess and her friends] would spin a whole web of pleasing 
conversation. On one occasion, when on a visit at Mr. Harry Dundas's, the 
Secretary of State, afterward Lord Melville, our Duchess, as I remember, and 
Mr. Dundas, with some others, were seated in a room into which the moon shone 
brightly during the dusk of the evening. Her Grace made a passing remark, 
" How beautifully the moon shone behind the window." " No, your Grace, " 
replied Mr. Dundas, " the moon does not shine behind the window- -it shines 
before the window." Her Grace was as tenacious in defending her assertion as 
Mr. Harry was in maintaining his amendment ; and, as neither party were 
disposed to yield, they actually reserved the point in dispute for deliberation 
next day of the whole congregated Administration of George the Third : and 
for a full hour the Secretary of State, as well as Pitt, Lord Thurlow (who was 
the Lord Chancellor), Mr. Wilberforce (then a young man), the Marquis [sic] of 
Aberdeen, and a number more almost equally distinguished, were employed in 
the most lively and humorous manner to decide the question. Sometimes the 
discourse would take a political turn : and whenever news of a victory over the 
Americans had been recently received, or any similar event had taken place, the 
Duchess (who was a great politician) was sure to give Mr. Pitt an Administration 

Horace Walpole, writing to the Miss Berrys on January 29, 1791, 

tells the story of her Grace's ease with the statesmen of the day :■ — 

" The other night, coming out of an assembly, she said to Dundas : 

' Mr. Dundas, you are used to speak in public. Will you call my 

servant ? ' There are many stories about the bitterness which sprang 

up between her Grace and Dundas. When he was cornered bv Samuel 

Whitbread, the brewer, over the Navy Scandal in 1S05, she suggested 

that Dundas had become the brewer's "whole butt." 

The Due of the Duchess 19 

It will give you some idea of the Duchess's importance when I 
say that the Princess Lamballe, on coming to England, was conjured 
(according to Secret Memoirs of the Royal Family of 
H l\ Pt>1V L er , aS a France)by Marie Antoinette to cultivate the acquaint- 

Place= Maker. / J 1 

ance of her Grace, "who was supposed to possess more 
influence than any woman in England, in order to learn the sentiments 
of Mr. Pitt relative to the revolutionary troubles. The Duchess, how- 
ever, was too much interested in the ruin of France to give her the 
least clue to the truth." The Princess came secretly to England. 

Her Grace was well known, however, to French society, although 
I cannot say whether she could speak French. She was in Paris in 
the early part of the year 1803. Sir Harry Englefield assures us that 
she then gave " Continental balls and fetes," while the gossiping Lady 
Jerningham (whose letters have been edited by Mr. Egerton Castle, 
the novelist), tells us that she " plays everywhere, [and] rattles the 
dice herself." It was at this time that she tried to get Napoleon's 
stepson Eugene Beauharnais as a husband for her youngest daughter 
Georgiana. Napoleon (whose fate was to be mixed up so curiously 
with the triumph at Brussels of her eldest daughter, the Duchess of 
Richmond), vetoed the project. So her Grace came home and 
annexed the 6th Duke of Bedford for Georgiana in June of the same 

Her enemies, of course, declared that the Duchess was always 
using her political influence to help her husband's family. Wraxall 
tells us that it was she who got for her brother-in-law, Lord William 
Gordon, the post of Vice -Admiral of Scotland and the Deputy - 
Rangership of St. James and Hyde Park, and the Great Seal of Scot- 
land for her husband. On the other hand, all her political power could 
not save her other brother-in-law Lord George Gordon, the Rioter, 
from being imprisoned. Certain it is, her influence never was so great 
as that of her rival, the beautiful Duchess of Devonshire, whose ex- 
ploits at the hustings are still remembered in electioneering history. 

20 The Gordon Book 

The Duchess was not content with politicians only. She enter- 
tained everybody who was anybody. D'Amour tells an amusing story 
about a ball she once gave. She had the Prince of 
and Royalty Wales (afterwards George IV.) and the beautiful Mrs 
Fitz Herbert on her left, while on her right sat the youth- 
ful Duke of Orleans, " then the gayest of the gay," but soon, as Louis 
Philippe, " to become the unhappy victim of democratic misrule." 

Methinks I see the Prince of Wales, in his own style of dignified con- 
descension, turning this way and that, as he led the conversation, that none might 
be overlooked and that all might be pleased. On the occasion alluded to, I 
remember that just as the Prince had been giving way to his peculiar happy 
style of jocularity, the Duchess remarked that " whoever should live to see it, his 
Royal Highness would make a singular King." Gathering up his face into the 
very picture of seriousness, he replied, " Pardon me, your Grace ; I think the 
honour of England has been so degraded of late that the crown would scarcely 
be worth the wearing." The Prince in this speech alluded to the peace which 
England had been forced into with America and its allies [1783] ; and the Duchess, 
remembering who sat at her right hand, without a moment's hesitation, rejoined, 
" And, Sir, pardon me in turn — I think England, having had the magnanimity 
to defend herself against four such powerful and persevering assailants, and 
having had the means of making such an honourable peace, betokens that the 
honour of Great Britain was never more free from tarnish than at this moment." 
A murmur of applause went through the company, in which the Duke of Orleans 
joined as well as the rest. 

Wraxall tells us that she used to pass part of " almost every even- 
ing" in Court, with the Prince of Wales, "whom she was accus- 
tomed in conversation to treat with the utmost freedom, even upon 
points of great delicacy. Her exhortations and remonstrances to 
Ministers produced the desired effect," and the Treasury paid the 
Prince's debts of ^200,000. 

Not many people know that it was the Duchess who made tartan 

popular. According to D'Amour, she managed to do this in 1791, 

when her son, the young Marquis of Huntly, was pre- 

How she made sente( j at Court on tne occasion of his majority. He 

Tartan popular. J 

appeared in the full Highland costume of his elan. 

George, stii and Last Duke of Gordon. 

This picture was painted by Sir Henry Raeburn and hangs in Gordon Castle. Born on 
February 2, 1770, he succeeded his father in the Dukedom in 1827. By a curious irony, while he had 
many military sons, in the shape of a regiment, the Gordon Highlanders, which he raised, he left no 
issue of his own, and the Dukedom fell into abeyance on his death, May 28, 1836, to be revived in favour 
of his grand nephew, the present Duke of Richmond and Gordon. His Marquisate devolved on his 
cousin, George, Earl of Aboyne. 

The Due of the Duchess 21 

After the ceremony his mother was so pleased with the pattern of his plaid 
that she sent a specimen of it to China for reproduction in silk. Soon after the 
silk plaid came back, the Duchess of Cumberland called on the Duchess in Pall 
Mall, and was astonished to learn that her Grace of Gordon intended to appear 
at Court in a Gordon tartan dress. " It may do for yourself very well," quoth 
her Grace of Cumberland, doubtlessly jealous of her other Grace's popularity, 
" but it would not do for me." Therein, however, she made a big mistake, for 
the Duchess of Gordon immediately set off to a Spittalfields silk weaver and 
ordered a large quantity of the tartan to be woven. She duly appeared in it at 
the Drawing Room, as she had resolved, and, as her personal appearance was 
" extraordinarily fine, and calculated to show any dress to advantage, and her 
example was highly influential, silk tartan, actually, in a few days became the 
rage of all the fashionable ladies about the town, even including the Duchess of 
Cumberland. Nor of the ladies only ; all the gentlemen's waistcoats being 
presently made of the same material. So much was this silk tartan in request, 
that the weavers for a considerable time could do no such thing as finish a piece 
before it was hurried away : but they had constantly to cut it out of the looms 
by piecemeal to supply present demands. In the end," adds this veracious valet, 
" scarce a respectable female but wore the tartan waist to her gown at least, and 
there was hardly a waiter at any inn in London but appeared in his tartan waist- 
coat." At last the tartan craze reached Paris, and the Duchess had the 
gratification of knowing that she was the leader of fashion both for London and 
the French metropolis, where tartan is still very popular. 

I may note that a coloured caricature of the Duchess, entitled " A 
Tartan Belle," was published in London in 1792 by S. W. Fores. 

The Duchess was a great dancer. Indeed, her service in this 

respect is said by her biographer in Public Characters to have 

diminished the time and attention hitherto bestowed 
The Duchess as . rp, 

a Dancer upon gaming. I he same writer notes :— 

Among the external accomplishments on which she laid the 
greatest stress was dancing, as contributing to health, agility, and grace. The 
Duchess, who was and is an admirable performer, became more and more 
attached to Scotch dancing, and the appropriate music, as being more conform- 
able to the British character than French. Under her patronage the sons of her 
old protege, Neil Gow [whom she had first seen at the Duke of Atholl's], first 
received that encouragement and attention which, by making their merits known, 
rendered their music so generally attractive. The Duchess observed that the 
Messrs. Gow to the natural genius of their father superadded taste and science, 

22 The Gordon Book 

and softened the wild vivacity of Highland music without materially deviating 
from its character. She wished a corresponding improvement might take place 
in dancing. To effect this object was reserved for the ingenious Mr. Jenkins. 
On the agility and accurate measures of the Highland steps that gentleman 
superinduced grace, his improvement in dancing being analogous to that of the 
Gows in ball music. Her Grace took Mr. Jenkins under her patronage, and was 
first the means of that recommendation to the public which his own efforts, and 
those of his son, improved in effect, as principle became ascertained by experi- 
ence and art was perfected by practice. The character of that delightful exercise, 
as patronised by the Duchess of Gordon, is ease without negligence, exactness 
without stiffness, elegance and grace without pomp or ostentation. Her Grace 
was the first who brought forward music and dancing at routs and thus en- 
trenched on the hostile provinces of gaming. 

Wraxall, a more credible authority, bears witness to the same fact : — ■ 

She first introduced the custom of dancing at routs, an agreeable innovation 
on the interminable carding, and, moreover, with patriotic zeal, she introduced 
Scotch dancing, till then unheard of in the fashionable world. Her own example, 
for she danced well, and that of her five daughters, who danced beautifully, soon 
established this style on a firm footing. Theretofore French dancing only had 
been customary. 

1 recently saw a diary in manuscript in which it was stated, under date 
March 29, 1789, that at some ball "Mr. Pitt led the Duchess of 
Gordon out to the reel dance, at which sport they continued till three 
in the morning - . Amongst such Scotch carousings as these, what chance 
has an Engdishman of success !" M. Vuillon, in his History 0/ Dancing, 
remarks that it was at the once famous Almack's that her Grace intro- 
duced Scots reels and jigs into London. 

In the Letters of Lord Cornwallis, reference is made to a ball which 
the Duchess gave at her house in Piccadilly, July 20, 1801 :— 

At half-past two a new Scotch dance called the Barne was danced, which 
afforded considerable amusement from the spirited way in which it was kept up. 
Instead of forming the circle by holding hands, it was done by laying hold of 
coat-tails. Many scenes, highly comic, took place, which threw the company into 
such good humour that they kept it up till six. Lady Heathcote wore a loose 
white gauze, quite aetherial. 

The Due of the Duchess 23 

Wraxall states that the Duchess "was greatly admired by persons 
in lower circles of life, with whom she was at times thrown into com- 
munication ; and this was in great measure owing to her 
Her Grace and . • • • 1 . , „ T . 

Literature. suiting- her conversation to her company. Burns, 

to whom she was introduced by Henry Erskine, was 
devoted to her (they came from the same corner of the country), and 
she declared that, in all her experience in the most brilliant society, 
no conversation had " ever so set her off her feet " as that of the poet. 
Sir Walter Scott (with whom she spent some days at Abbotsford in 
1S02), in a letter to Lockhart, speaking of her meeting Burns, says : — 
" I was told, but did not observe it, that his address to females was 
extremely deferential, and always with a turn cither to the pathetic or 
humorous, which engaged their attention particularly. I have heard 
the late Duchess of Gordon remark this." Burns and William Xicol 
paid a visit to the Duke and Duchess at Gordon Castle in September, 
1787, and were enthusiastic over their Graces' cordiality. " The Duke," 
he wrote, " makes one happier than ever great man did : noble, princely, 
yet mild and condescending, and affable, and gay, and kind. The 
Duchess —charming, witty, kind, and sensible. God bless them ! " Mrs. 
Alexander Cockburn tells us that, " through the kindness of the I Hichess, 
the poet was introduced to all the delights of the New Assembly Rooms, 
where, it is not to be wondered at, he was not seen to the best advan- 

1 cannot say whether the Duchess was really " literary," but she 
certainly gathered literary people round her. Mrs. Grant of Laggan, 
who visited her at her inn in Edinburgh in 1808, says that she then 
wanted to be a patron of letters :— 

Her Grace's present ruling passion is literature — to be the arbitress of 
literary taste and the patroness of genius — a distinction for which her early want 
of culture and the flutter of a life devoted to very different pursuits has rather 
disqualified her. Yet she has strong flashes of intellect, which are, however, lost 
in a formless confusion of a mind ever hurried on by contending passions and 

24 The Gordon Book 

contradictory subjects, of which one can never be attained without the relinquish- 
ment of the others. She reminded me at present of what has been said of the old 
regime in France, where, when they could no longer lead up the dance of gaiety 
and fashion, set up for beaux esprits, and decided on the merits of authors. 

Mrs. Grant of Laggan gives a very interesting picture of the 
Duchess's salon in Edinburgh, which she visited in the spring of 1809. 
Writing to Catherine Fanshawe (as quoted in Mrs. Pasteur's Little 
Memoirs of the iSt/i Century), she says : — ■ 

I called on the Duchess of Gordon and was much gratified to see Sir Brooke 
Boothby [1743-1824; he published a volume of Fables and Satires in Edin- 
burgh during 1 809], though he looked so feeble and so dismal that no one 
would have thought him just come from writing those sorrows sacred to Penelope. 
The Duchess said that on Sunday she never saw company, nor played cards, nor 
went out ; in England, indeed, she did so, because everyone else did the same, 
but she would not introduce those manners into this country. I stared at these 
gradations of piety, growing warmer as it came northwards, but was wise enough 
to stare silently. She said I must come that evening, as she would be alone. I 
found Walter Scott, whom I had never met before, Lady Keith — Johnson's 
Oueenie — and an English lady, witty and fashionable-looking, who came and 
went with Mr. Scott. I think Mr. Scott's appearance very unpromising and 
commonplace ; yet though no gleam of genius animates his countenance, much 
of it appears in his conversation, which is rich, varied, easy, and animated, 
without any of the petulance with which the " Faculty " are not unjustly 

In speaking of her Grace at Edinburgh, I may recall the story 
which is told in P'ergusson's Henry Erskine and Jus Kinsfolk ; — ■ 

While living in George Square, amongst his neighbours had been the 
Duchess of Gordon and the Countess of Sutherland. On the removal of her 
Grace to the more fashionable New Town, Mr. Erskine is said to have made one 
of his most gallant speeches to the Duchess. Her Grace had said to her friend 
that she regretted having to leave the house which had been her home so long, 
but that really the Old Town was intolerably dull. On which Mr. Erskine is 
said to have replied, " Madame, that is as if the sun were to say, ' It seems vastly 
dull weather — I think I shall not rise this morning!'' This is one of the 
incidents which have been told as occurring in England ; also it is narrated of 
Fox and the Duchess of Devonshire. It is left to the curious in such matters to 
establish the correct version of the tale. 

The Due of the Duchess 25 

In 1780, Beattie (the " Minstrel ") addressed some verses to her 
when sending her a pen : — 

Go and be guided by the brightest eyes, 

And to the softest hand thine aid impart, 
To trace the fair ideas as they rise, 

Warm from the purest, gentlest, noblest heart 

And, in a letter addressed to her Grace, he is equally lavish of praise, 
declaring that : — - 

Your Grace's heart is already too feelingly alive to each fine impulse ; to 
you I would gladly recommend gay thoughts, cheerful looks, and sprightly 
company — I might have said company without limitation, for wherever you are 
the company must be sprightly. I rejoice in the good weather and in the belief 
that it extends to Glenfiddich, where I pray that your Grace may enjoy all the 
health and happiness that good air, goat's whey, romantic solitude, and the 
society of the loveliest children in the world can bestow. 

Samuel Rogers, himself the very prince of literary hosts, recorded 
in his Tabic Talk : — ■ 

I knew Jane, Duchess of Gordon, intimately, and many pleasant hours have I 
passed in her society. She used to say, " I have been acquainted with David 
Hume and William Pitt, and therefore I am not afraid to converse with anybody." 

Curiously enough, so far as I know, she never met Lord Byron, although 
they once nearly encountered one another. Writing to Miss Paget, 
August 2, 1807, Byron says : — • 

My cousin, Lord Alexander Gordon [who died January 8, 1808], told me 
his mother, her Grace of Gordon, requested he would introduce my Poetical 
Lordship to her Highness, as she had bought my volume, admired it exceedingly 
with the rest of the fashionable world, and wished to claim relationship with the 
author. I was unluckily engaged on an excursion for some days afterwards : and 
as the Duchess was on the eve of departing for Scotland, I have postponed my 
introduction till the winter, when I shall favour the lady, whose taste I shall not 
dispute, with my most sublime and edifying conversation. She is now in the 
Highlands, and Alexander took his departure a few days afterwards for the same 
blessed seat of " dark rolling waves." 

26 The Gordon Book 

Mr. D'Amour, who never misses a detail, tells us that her Grace's 

life at Gordon Castle was " far from the character of monotonous dul- 

ness." When the London season was over, the Duchess's 

„ . _ ,, goods and chattels were sent north bv a coasting vessel, 
Gordon Castle * /...&» 

while she travelled, of course, by coach. D'Amour tells 
a story of how Dundas once went north to visit her Grace, but was 
summoned back to town by a King's Messenger, who handed him a 
despatch, just as the Duchess met him. She was ''sadly chagrined at 
the untoward circumstance ; but, pleasantly pretending to suspect 
duplicity, demanded to see the despatches herself. A deal of good- 
humoured raillery passed between the parties, which ended in the 
Duchess being shown the despatch which had been sent by Mr. Pitt." 
D'Amour afterwards learned from his mistress that it was announced 
that the Treaty of Commerce was being finally settled between France 
and England, and that Dundas must return. Pitt, however, promised 
that he would work night and day to enable Dundas to return north. 
She had a theatre at Gordon Castle, where she got up theatricals. 
On November 10, 1793, the play No Song No Supper was given :— 

Robin, - - - - -Duke of Gordon. 

Endless, - - Marquis of Huntly. 

Frederick, - - - - Mr. Gordon. 

William, - Sir Robert Sinclair. 

Thomas, - - - - - Mr. Gordon. 

DorotJiy, - - - - Lady Louise Gordon. 

Louise, - Lady Madeline Sinclair. 

Margaretta, - Lady Susan Gordon. 

Nelly, - - - Duchess of Gordon. 

The Duchess, I may note, used to have a box at the opera, and the 
Times thought it worth its while to chronicle that, at the performance 
of the opera Rindldo oV Asti, on March 20, 1802, the Duchess "sat in 
her box for the first time this season." 

Pryse Gordon describes a bet I masque which was given in the 
house of William Abercromby of Glassaugh, at Banff, in 1 779 :- 

Alexander, 4111 Duke of Gordon. 

This picture was painted by Sir Henry Raebum (1756-1823), and hangs in Gordon Castle. The 
4th Duke was born 1743, and succeeded to the Dukedom on the death of his father in 175-'. He 
married Jane Maxwell in 1767. It was he who caused Gordon Castle to be rebuilt. He died in 1S27. 
His Grace wrote the comic song, ''There's cauld kail in Aberdeen." 

The Due of the Duchess 27 

I sat up a whole night pasting cartridge paper and noses on the wig blocks 
of our citizen and barber. As our models were not very elegant, a great deal was 
left to the taste of the artists. I had the luck of making one so grotesque that it 
was selected by my chief for the character of a French cook, which his Grace 
personated with great humour, after having appeared as the Baronet of 
Birkenbog without being detected. The Duke had borrowed Sir Robert's hat 
and wig, of a very particular cut, as well as a suit of his apparel, and was so 
admirably disguised that, as he walked from the Inn to the scene of action, a 
few hundred yards, the populace, who had turned out to see the procession, 
actually believed they saw the knight in propria persona, and exclaimed — "Look 
at our ain Sir Robert, he does'na fash wi' a Sedan, honest man ! " The Duchess 
was first a flower girl, and changed her costume before supper for a superb court 
dress ; she was unmasked, and glittering in diamonds. ... I was permitted 
to assist at the ball, and played my part as well as I could in the character of a 
country lad looking for a footboy's place. I even ventured to address the 
Duchess as a candidate, and she gave me half-a-crown for arles. Everyone, both 
young and old, exerted themselves to keep up the spirit of the party, and it went 
off with great good humour, producing laughter, hilarity, and sallies of wit and 
repartee. I have heard the Duchess since say that she never passed a happier 
evening. When people are determined to be pleased, the task is very easy. 

In March, 1899, Lady Clementine Hay appeared at Lady Tweed- 
mouth's ball in Edinburgh, got up as her ancestress, the Duchess of 
Gordon, with the historic red feather bonnet in which her Grace is 
said to have raised the Gordon Highlanders. 

The Duchess made every place she visited ring- with her vivacity. 

Thus, when she was in Aberdeen in October, 1789, as recorded in 

Turves Antiquarian Gleanings, there were great doings. 

The A duchess in The town was fu]1 of l( nol)ilitv and gentry," and the 

Aberdeen. J & J ' 

lively Duchess "at the head of the whole company, who 

pay their devoirs to her." 

Every day the company have been engaged in the Links at wicket — the 
Duchess of Gordon and Lady Charlotte Lennox all the time from twelve o'clock 
till five in the afternoon ; man}' ladies in their coaches, besides gentlemen on 
horseback leaping over a five-barred gate. I suppose a great sum will be spent. 
At the public fare and for private lodgings I never remember such a full town 
before. Colonel Lennox is a genteel man, and Lady Charlotte Lennox looks 
very well. The Duchess has a cheerful countenance and full of vivacity. 

28 The Gordon Book 

The Duchess did exceedingly well by her daughters, who made 

great matches, as follows :-- 

Lady Charlotte, married in 1789 Charles Lennox, afterwards 4th 
Her Daughters. 

Duke of Richmond. 

Lady Madeline, married (1) in 1789 Sir Robert Sinclair, and (2) Charles 

Fysche Palmer. 

Lady Susan, married the 5th Duke of Manchester. 

Lady Louise, married the 1st Marquis Cornvvallis. 

Lady Georgiana, married the Duke of Bedford. 

Wraxall, writing of these marriages, says : — ■ 

In her daughters centred principally her ambitious cares. For their eleva- 
tion no sacrifices appeared to her to be too great, no exertions too laborious, no 
renunciations too severe. It would, indeed, be vain to seek for any other instance 
in our history of a woman who has allied three of her five daughters to English 
Dukes and the fourth to a Marquis. 

Her grandson, Lord William Pitt Lennox — named after her old friend 
Pitt — has left it on record that the Duchess's personal grace was trans- 
mitted, " apparently with no loss to herself/' to her daughters, "who 
became severally the belles of the season " : — 

Indeed for many years after the single blessedness of their career had 
terminated, when they appeared together at the opera or theatre, in the same 
box with their mother, which was frequently the case, their extraordinary 
attractiveness became the source of universal admiration. 

The Duchess's life at Kinrara has been charmingly pictured for us 

by more than one gossip who had the opportunity of seeing it. Thus, 

Miss Elizabeth Grant of Rothiemurcus, afterwards Mrs. 

At Kinrara. . 

Smith of Baltiboys, grows eloquent (see The Memoirs of 
a Highland Lady, 1797- 1830, edited by Lady Strachey). She says : — 

The Duchess inhabited the real old farm house of Kinrara, where she was 
happier and more agreeable and the society gathered round her far pleasanter 
than it ever was afterwards in the new cottage villa she built about a mile nearer 
us [at Rothiemurcus]. It was a sort of backwoods life, charming to young people 
amid such scenery, and a dramatic emancipation from the forms of society that 
for a little while every season was delightful, particularly as there was no real 

The Due of the Duchess 29 

roughing in it. In the " but " and the " ben," constituting the small farm cabin it 
was, she and her daughter Lady Georgina [afterwards Duchess of Bedford] 
dwelt. By the help of white calico, a little whitewash, a little paint, and plenty 
of flowers, they made their apartment quite pretty. What had been a kitchen 
at one end of the house was elevated by various contrivances into a sitting-room ; 
a barn was fitted up into a barrack for ladies, a stable for gentlemen ; a kitchen 
was easily formed out of some of the out offices, and in it, without his butter, 
without his stove, without his thousand and one assistants and resources, her 
French cook sent up dinners still talked off by the few remaining partakers. The 
entrees were all prepared in one black pot — a large potato chaudron, which he had 
ingeniously divided into four compartments by means of two pieces of tin sheet 
crossed, the only inconvenience of this clever plan being that the company had 
to put up with all white sauce one day and all brown the next. Her favourite 
footman, Lord James, a very handsome, impudent person, but an excellent 
servant for that sort of wild life, able to put his hand to any work, plays the 
violin remarkably well, and, as every tenth Highlander at least plays on the same 
instrument tolerably, there was no difficulty in getting up a highly satisfactory 
band on an}' evening that the guests were disposed for dancing. Half the 
London world of fashion, all the clever people that could be hunted out from all 
parts, all the north country, all the neighbourhood from far and near, without 
regard to wealth or station, and all the kith and kin of both Gordons and 
Maxwells, flocked to this encampment in the wilderness during the fine autumns 
to enjoy the free life, the pure air, and the wit and fun the Duchess brought with 
her to the mountains. 

When the Duchess had miscalculated her supplies, or more guests arrived 
than she could possibily accommodate, the overplus, as a matter of course, came 
over to us [that is to say, the Grants of Rothiemurcus, who lived at Doune]. 
Morning, noon, and night there was a coming and going. All our spare rooms 
were often filled even to the many beds in the barrack ; and at Kinrara shakes- 
down in the dining-room and the sofas in the drawing-room were constantly 
resorted to for gentlemen who were too late for a corner in the wooden room, a 
building erected a short way from the house in the midst of a birch thicket upon 
the banks. 

We [the Grants of Rothiemurcus] were often over at Kinrara, the Duchess 
having perpetual dances, either in the drawing-room or the servants' hall, and 
my father [Sir John Peter Grant of Rothiemurcus] returning these entertain- 
ments in the same style. A few candles lighted up bare walls at short warning ; 
fiddles and whisky punch were always at hand ; and the gentles and simples 
reeled away in company until the ladies thought the scene becoming more 
boisterous than they liked remaining in — nothing more, however : a Highlander 
never forgets his place, never loses his native, inborn politeness, never presumes 

30 The Gordon Book 

upon favour. We children sometimes displayed our accomplishments on these 
occasions in a prominent manner, to the delight, at any rate, of our dancing 
master. Lady Jane Montagu [the Duchess's grand-daughter, who died of con- 
sumption in 1815] was really clever in the Gillie Galium and the Shean Trews. 
Lord Huntly was the life of all these meetings. He was young, gay, 
handsome, fond of his mother, and often with her : and so general a favourite 
that all the people seemed to wake up when he came amongst them. 

The other, and better-known Grant, namely, Mrs. Grant of Laggan, 
gives a very vivid accouut, in Letters from the Mountains, of the active 
habits of the Duchess at Kinrara in 1798 : — ■ 

The Duchess of Gordon is a very busy farmeress at Kinrara. She rises at 
five in the morning, bustles incessantly, employs from twenty to thirty workmen 
every day, and entertains noble travellers from England in a house very little 
better than our own, but she is setting up a wooden pavilion to see company in. 
Unlike most people of the world, the Duchess presented hei least favour- 
able phases to the public ; but in this, her Highland home, all her best qualities 
were in action, and then it was that her warm benevolence and steady friendship 
were known and felt. 

The best description of Kinrara is that which was written many years 
ago by Robert Carruthers : — ■ 

On the great Highland road betwixt Perth and Inverness, about 30 miles 
from the latter place (towns are more rare here than trees), we strike off below 
the Inn at Aviemore, and enter upon a district wild and magnificent, yet seldom 
trod unless by anglers and sportsmen — those ruthless explorers of Nature's 
secret treasures. After a brief space, haply not undelighted, we arrive at Kinrara 
Cottage, a secluded, romantic retreat. . . . Built in the hollow of the hills, 
embosomed in its native woods, with its cultured walks, trim garden, and trailing 
vines, Kinrara rises like Paradise in the wilds, peopling the spot which but a few 
years since was tenanted by the fox and wild deer, and resembling rather, with 
the surrounding scenery, the creation of some eastern tale than a sober and living 
reality. In front of the cottage is a long deep vale or amphitheatre, inferior 
scarcely in fertility even to the Vale of Thames, and washed by the river Spey, 
whose dark and rapid waters contrast finely with the masses of white pebbles 
accumulated on its shores and the light, feathery birches that wave along its 
banks. In the distance are the lofty Grampians and Cairngorm hills, their blue 
summits undulating against the clear sky, and casting their strong deep shadows 
one upon another, as the sunshine sleeps upon the mountains. 

The Due of the Duchess 31 

The Duchess passed away at the Pulteney Hotel, in Piccadilly, in 
April 11, 181 2, at the age of sixty-four. She had been summoned to 

Carlton House to a reception given by the Prince Regent. 
Her Death in C1 _ , 

London. ^ ne § ot a new gown lor the occasion, and, according to 

the author of Strathbogiana, threw open her apartments 

in the hotel for a reception of her own. She was seized with a bad 

cold, and died in a few weeks, surrounded by the members of her family. 

Lady Sarah Lennox, writing of the event to her friend Lady Susan 

O'Brien, says : — ■ 

The poor Duchess of Richmond's mind was sadly worn out by a month's 
close attendance in her mother's melancholy sick-chamber. However, she 
received great comfort in the latter end by seeing her mother express such satis- 
faction in having all her children round her, in seeing the Duke of Gordon very 
kind to her, and in the Duchess's perfect resignation to her death, which took 
place in the Duchess's arms without the least struggle. 

According to the Gentleman 's Magazine, when 

she felt the approach of death, she desired to have the Sacrament administered 
to her at two o'clock on the following morning ; but afterwards, feeling the rapid 
advance of the moment, which she contemplated with resignation, she desired that 
she might partake of the holy rite at an early hour ; and, accordingly, together 
with all her children, she received the Communion, and soon after breathed 
her last. 

The death of the Duchess came as a terrible blow to her friends 

in the North. Miss Grant of Rothiemurcus says "the whole Highlands 

mourned for her, as with all her oddities she was the soul 

How the North of our Korthern Society [and] the life of all circles she 
Mourned Her. J L J 

entered." Mr. Alexander Macpherson, in his Glimpses of 

Church Life in the Highlands, notes that — ■ 

Mr. Duncan Macpherson, Kingussie, the venerable " Old Banker," who died 
in Feb., 1890, at the ripe old age of 91, vividly described the intense interest 
excited in Badenoch by the arrival of the remains of the Duchess in a hearse 
drawn all the way from London by six jet-black Belgian horses. At Dalwhinnie, 
the first stage within the wide Highland territory then belonging to the family 

32 The Gordon Book 

at which the general cortege arrived, the body of the Duchess lay in state for two 
days. For a similar period it lay at the Inn, then at Pitmain, within half-a-mile 
of Kingussie, and was subsequently followed by an immense concourse of 
Highland people to the resting-place at her beloved Kinrara. The coffin was 
covered with crimson velvet. 

The " venerable Mrs. Allardyce of Cromarty " wrote some affec- 
tionate verses on the Duchess's death : — 

Fair in Kinrara blooms the rose, 

And softly waves the weeping willow, 
Where beauty's faded charms repose, 

And splendour rests on earth's cold pillow. 
Her smile who sleeps in yonder glade 

Could once awake the soul to pleasure, 
When fashion's airy train she led, 

And formed the dance's frolic measure. 

When war called forth our youth to arms, 

Her eye inspired each martial spirit, 
Her heart, too, felt the Muses' charms, 

And gave the meed to modest merit : 
But now farewell ! fair northern star, 

Thy beams no more shall courts enlighten — ■ 
No more lead forth our youth to arms — 

No more the rural pastimes brighten. 

Long, long thy loss shall Scotia mourn, 

Her vales, which thou wert wont to gladden, 
Shall long look cheerless and forlorn, 

And grief the minstrel's music sadden. 
And oft amid the festive scene, 

While pleasure cheats the midnight pillow, 
A sigh shall breathe for noble Jane, 

Laid low beneath Kinrara's willow. 

The Duchess was far too successful in life not to have bitter criti- 
cisms passed on her. Wraxall specially was hard ; but sincerer observers 

have praised many of the sterling qualities which her 
Her Good Heart. , 

Grace possessed in no mean measure. Thus, Mrs. 

Grant of Laggan, writing about her in the year 1808, says : — 

In one point she never varies — which is active, nay, most industrious 

The Due of the Duchess 33 

benevolence. Silver and gold she has not, but what she has — her interest, her 
trouble, her exertion — she gives up with unequalled perseverance. She was at 
much pains to seek out an orphan, the son of a gentleman who died lately in the 
Highlands, leaving a numerous unprovided-for family. She was at much pains 
to seek out this orphan, who lodged in some obscure corner of Stirling, as if he 
had been a fit match for her grand-daughter who accompanied her. 

How deeply she cared for the welfare of her husband's tenants is 
shown by this (undated) letter, which is supposed to have been 
written by her to her old friend Henry Erskine, in whose Life, by 
Col. Fergusson, it is quoted : — 

My dear Lord, — It has been often suggested by the benevolent and wise 
that some mark of his Majestie's bounty should be given to that part of the 
kingdom which gave birth to the brave 42nd and 92nd Regiments. Kingussie, 
my favorite child, is in the most centrical part of the Highlands. The Duke of 
Gordon has laid out 000 (sic) to build a town ; and for years I have given 
premiums for all kinds of domestic industry — spinning, dyeing, etc. — and last 
year had some hundred specimens of beautiful colours from the herbs of the 
fields, and different woollen productions. But there is an evil I cannot remedy 
without a sum of money. The children are totally neglected in body and mind ; 
cold, hunger, and dirt carries off hundreds. The cow-pox would save many ; 
no doctor for 30 miles makes man}- orphan families. They say they may be 
better in a foreign land, they cannot be more wretched. You once drew tears 
from brighter eyes than mine in a poem [the Emigrant] you gave Lady Corn- 
walks. These horrors still exist in the utmost extent— lands raised, and no 
knowledge of agriculture ; of course, worse than slaves ; no principle of action ; 
no care of their morals or health. If any commotion was to arise, either from 
foreign or domestic causes, liberty — a word so often used for the most cruel 
purposes — would soon raise a flame in their brave independent minds that would 
lead to most fatal consequences. They have no attachment to their country, 
except it being th? spot where they were born and where the "rude forefathers 
of the hamlet sleep." I wish to add to the comforts of the aged and take the 
children, teach them to think right, raise food for themselves, and prepare them 
to succeed to their fathers' farms with knowledge of all the branches of farming_ 
Why Lady Stafford, with 80,000 a year, should get money to build harbours 
where there is no ships, I cannot say. Much money has gone to Scotland for 
fishing towns, harbours, etc. All might as well been thrown into the sea. A 
healthy, well-regulated people must be the proud richess of this country ; by 
them we can alone be defended. Forgive me. Do I speak to Lord Grenville 


34 The Gordon Book 

I don't like to trouble him, though I know he would like to oblige the 
favourite friend of Lord Temple, and a person who has shared many cheerful, 
social hours with him and the immortal, and ever to be regretted, Pitt. — Adieu, 
God bless you. — J. Gordon. 

The Duchess was laid to rest on the banks of the Spey, for she 

had chosen a sequestered spot not far from Kinrara 
Her Grave. . 

House, and she had planted it out. Her son, Lord 

Huntly, planted a few larch trees round the enclosure, while his wife, 
who was so very different from the gay Duchess, laid out a beautiful 
shrubbery, and extended the plantation, making the paths through it. 
The spot is marked by a granite obelisk (the fifth and last Duke of 
Gordon), graven with inscriptions which lorm a complete genealogical 
history of her descendants. 

J. M. Bulloch. 

/ - \ 

s / 


Lady Henrietta Mordaunt, Wife of the 2nd Duke of Gordon. 

This is a reproduction of Sir Peter Lely's portrait of the Duchess now in Gordon Castle. Lady 
Henrietta Mordaunt, who was the daughter of Charles, the famous Karl of Peterborough (by Carey, 
daughter of Sir Alexander Fraser of Durris), married Alexander, 2nd Duke of Gordon (then Marquis ot 
Huntly) in 1706. The Duke died in [728. His widow survived him till 1760. She had four sons 
and seven daughters, and brought them up as Protestants. 

Zhe HHicbess of IRicbmonb 

anfc tbe 

" Waterloo " Ball. 

I 'HE Peerage has been described by an unfortunate wit as the best 
thing- the English people have done in the way of fiction ; but it 
may be questioned whether fiction has anything to equal the great good 
fortune that befell Jane Maxwell's daughters. Three of the five be- 
came Duchesses, one was a Marchioness. The fifth alone, after a brief 
period of married happiness with a Scots baronet, contented herself with 
a forgotten Commoner. The suggestion of the contemporary gossips 
that the Duchess of Gordon was merely a clever intriguer will not 
explain the luck of her daughters. The fact is that the girls were 
not only handsome ; they were clever. Indeed, it would have been 
little short of a miracle if so brilliant a woman as Jane Maxwell had 
managed not to have some clever children. Her brains were inherited 
by her daughters (to the exclusion of her sons) ; most of all, perhaps, 
by the eldest, Lady Charlotte Gordon, who immortalised herself as the 
hostess of the historic ball at Brussels, from which Wellington set forth 
to fight the battles of Ouatre Bras and Waterloo. Her distant kinsman, 
Byron's verses alone would make her famous : — ■ A A ^^f^*^^ 

There was a sound of revelry by night, 

And Belgium's capital had gather'd then 
Her beauty and her chivalry, and bright 

The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men ; 
A thousand hearts beat happily, 

And all went merrily as a marriage bell. 
Lady Charlotte was the firstborn of Jane Maxwell. She first saw the 
light at Gordon Castle on September 20th, 1 768, and she was married 
there under romantic circumstances, almost on her twenty-first birth- 
day, namely, September 6th, 1789. Though she was eldest, Lady 
Charlotte was not the first of the familv to <>o to the altar. Her sister 

36 The Gordon Book 

Madeline had been married (at the age of seventeen) the previous April 
to Sir Robert Sinclair of Stevenson ; but the example Lady Charlotte 
set of making a great alliance was followed by her three sisters. Not that 
her choice, Charles Lennox, seemed at first a great match, for at the time 
of his marriage he was two removes from the Dukedom of Richmond, 
his uncle, the third duke, and his father, Lord George Henry Lennox, 
barring the way. But the handsome young man had already cut a great, 
rather a notorious, figure in the world by fighting a duel with a Prince 
of the Blood. 

Before going into that, I should note that the houses of Lennox 
and Gordon were not unacquainted. When Lady Charlotte was about 
three months old, her uncle, Lord William Gordon, had astonished the 
world of fashion by running off with Lady Sarah Bunbury, who was the 
aunt of Charles Lennox, and who became the mother of the distinguished 
historians, the Napiers. Charles Lennox was born in Scotland. His 
mother was a Scot, Lady Louise Kerr, daughter of the fourth Marquis 
of Lothian ; and his uncle, the Duke, had married the granddaughter 
of the fourth Duke of Argyll. 

Charles Lennox, I say, had become famous by fighting a duel with 

a Prince ol the Blood, his antagonist being no less a personage than 

His Royal Highness the Duke of York, second son of the 

Lennox's Duel c • n t t t 1 1 r 1 x r\ 

■.4-u +u r» • Sovereign, George 111., and uncle 01 our late Oueen. 

with the Prince. & ' & ~ 

This historic combat has often been described, notably 

by Richmond's own son, Lord William Pitt Lennox (the " Lord Prima 
Donna" of Vivian Grey), who wrote a most entertaining volume, Fifty 
Years of Biographical Reminiscences. Lennox and the Prince were 
both officers in the Coldstream Guards, for the Prince had succeeded 
Lennox's grandfather, the Duke of Richmond, as colonel in 1784. The 
combat came off at Wimbledon Common on May 26th, 1789. Curiously 
enough, it was on May 26th (1867) that the future Duchess of York, 
now Princess of Wales, was born. The trouble arose over Mr. Pitt, the 
great friend of Lennox's future mother-in-law, the Duchess of Gordon. 

The Duchess of Richmond and the Waterloo Ball 37 

and the name-father of Lennox's son-to-be, Lord William Lennox. 
Lennox, in a moment of forgetfulness, proposed the health of Mr. Pitt 
(who was then opposed to York) at a dinner party given by the Prince 
of Wales at Carlton House, which has long since vanished. Angry 
words arose, though the good sense of the company allowed the matter to 
drop. Then the gossips brought it all up again by whispering that the 
Duke of York had commented in his club severely on the conduct of 
Lennox, who addressed the Duke on parade, "desiring to know what 
were the words that had been applied to him, and by whom spoken." 
His Royal Highness simply ordered Lennox to his post. Parade over, 
the Duke went to the orderly-room and informed Lennox, in the presence 
ol all the other officers, that he desired to receive no protection from his 
position as a Prince of the Blood or his station as commanding officer. 
" When not on duty," he said, " I wear a brown coat, and have none of 
the paraphernalia or rank ; neither shall the position which I hold in 
the army exempt me from any obligation which I may possibly owe as 
private gentleman." Lennox immediately sent a letter to each of the 
members of d'Aubigny's Club, asking for information about the Duke's 
alleged criticisms. None of the members, however, replied, and the 
Duke declined any further explanation. Lennox then called upon him 
for the satisfaction due from one gentleman to another, and His Royal 
Highness at once waived all personal distinctions, and consented to give 
Lennox the satisfaction required. The meeting took place on Wimble- 
don Common on May 26th (1789) :— 

Lord Rawdon accompanied the Duke, and Lord Winchilsea, who himself 
figures in more than one " affair of honour," acted as second to Lennox. The 
ground was measured for twelve paces. The signal being given, Lennox fired, 
and the ball grazed his Royal Highness's curl, but the Duke of York did not fire. 
The Duke, moreover, said he had no intention of firing ; he had come, as Colonel 
Lennox desired, to give him satisfaction, but had no animosity against him. 
Lennox pressed that his Royal Highness should fire, which was declined. Lord 
Winchilsea, on behalf of his friend, then went up to the Duke, and expressed a 
hope that his Royal Highness would have no objection in saying that he con- 

38 The Gordon Book 

sidered Colonel Lennox as a man of honour and courage. But the Duke replied 
that he would say nothing ; he had come out to give Lieutenant-Colonel Lennox 
satisfaction and did not mean to fire at him. If he was not satisfied he might 
fire again. Lennox said that was impossible. Both parties then left the ground. 
The Duke had been so anxious to keep this affair a secret from the Prince of 
Wales, that he had left his own hat at Carlton House and took one belonging to 
a member of the household instead ; but notwithstanding the precaution taken, 
the Prince found the matter out, and showed his displeasure in a marked manner. 

The fellow-officers of the combatants met a few days later and 
passed a resolution that Lennox had " behaved with courage, but, from 
the peculiarities of the circumstances, not with judgment.' 1 So Lennox 
exchanged with Lord Strathnairn his captaincy in the Guards for the 
colonelcy with the 35th Foot, now the 1st Battalion of the Royal Sussex 
Regiment, which was then stationed in Edinburgh. Previous to joining 
the regiment, however, he fought a second duel, on July 3rd, on Uxbridge 
Road, London, with an eccentric Irishman, the son of Deane (not Dean) 
Swift, who had ventured to criticise his conduct. Swift was wounded, 
but he managed to live long enough to hear of the fame which his 
rival gained as the host at the famous Waterloo ball. 

Lennox himself, I may note, attended the birthday ball held in 
St. James's in honour of the birthday of the Prince of Wales (August 
1 2th, 1789). It is told of him : — 

He stood up in the country dance with Lady Catherine Barnard ; the Prince 
of Wales, who danced with his sister the Princess Royal, happened to be the 
next couple. His Royal Highness paused, gave the Colonel a look, and taking 
his sister's hand, led her to the bottom of the dance. The Duke of Clarence 
followed his example, but the Duke of York made no distinction between his late 
adversary and other gentlemen present. When the Colonel and his partner had 
danced down the set, the Prince of Wales, again taking his partner's hand, led 
her to a seat. The Queen, noticing something was amiss, went up to the Prince, 
saying: "You are heated, sir, and tired; I had better leave the apartment and 
put an end to the dance." " I am heated," replied the Prince, " and tired, not 
with dancing, but with a portion of the company." And then added : " I certainly 
never will countenance an insult offered to my family." The next day the First 
Gentleman in Europe sent a very necessary apology to Lady Catherine Barnard, 

The Duchess of Richmond and the Waterloo Ball 


in which he expressed his regret that he should have caused her a moment's 

By the time Lennox had reached Edinburgh to join his regiment, 
he had become a person of much importance, for never before had a sub- 
ject of the realm called out a Prince of the Blood. Edinburgh Castle 
was illuminated in his honour ; he was presented with the freedom of 
the city, and elected an honorary member of the Corporation of Gold- 
smiths. He became immensely popular with the soldiers by playing 
cricket with them — a then unknown act of condescension ; and his 
popularity increased by his romantic marriage with the Lady Charlotte. 
According- to M. Mathias D'Amour, the Duchess of Gordon's 
loquacious valet, the marriage of Charles Lennox and Lady Charlotte 
T . n .. Gordon, who was his junior by four years, took place 

The Romantic J J 3 ' r "^ 

Marriage in (September 6th, 1789) in the Duchess's best dressing- 
Gordon Castle. ^ , . , , „ , . 

room at Gordon Castle. D Amour says : — 

Before we left London, as I learned afterwards, the Duchess of Gordon had 
sent orders to Gordon Castle confidentially concerning the marriage ceremony. 
It was arranged that the housekeeper should have a certain clergyman in 
attendance when we arrived. The ceremony took place in the Duchess's best 
dressing room. The Duke was not at home. Nobody in the house but the 
Duchess and two women-servants, besides the immediate parties, knew of the 
wedding, not even the Marquis of Huntly, Lady Charlotte's brother, till the 
third day after. The reason, I believe, was the desire to avoid parade. On the 
morning of the third day the Duchess informed her son, the Marquis of Huntly, 
of the event. As a great number of the neighbouring gentry, according to 
custom had assembled to welcome the arrival of the family into the north, the 
young Marquis was very desirous of being himself the instrument to announce 
the news. Accordingly, after dinner was over, and the ladies had retired, the 
Marquis, archly addressing Colonel Lennox, said, " Colonel, allow us to drink 
Charlotte's health in style." " Stay," said the Colonel, " let us first get her 
Grace's leave." He directly left the room and, returning in a short time, 
announced to the young Marquis that " the Duchess gave consent." " Then," 
said the Marquis, " let it be in bumpers." " Nay," said the Colonel, " let us have 
bottles, and give me two." So said, so done. Each gentleman had a bottle set 
before him, with the cork ready drawn, and Colonel Lennox two as he had 
desired. The Colonel then rose from his seat, and gave in a bold and un 

4<d The Gordon Book 

faltering voice, " Lady Charlotte Lennox." A burst of astonishment and 
applause was the consequence. The servants in waiting directly communicated 
it to those without, and every part of the house literally rang with the news as 
u flew from room to room. I believe every man at the table drank his bottle of 
wine in due style, and the bridegroom his two. As the bottles were emptied they 
laid them on the table, each one with its neck to a common centre, and thus made 
the form of a star in honour of the ceremony, which remained till next day. 

Lennox succeeded to the Dukedom on December 29th, 1806, the 

day when his uncle, the third Duke, died without leaving issue —his 

father, Lord George Lennox, passed away, in the previ- 

The Duke's Qus year ] n fae meantime, Lennox had served in the 

Career. J 

Leeward Islands in 1795 (in which year he was A. D.C. 
to the King) ; and he had represented Sussex in Parliament for sixteen 
years, 1790-1806. He was Lord- Lieutenant of Ireland 1807-18 13, and 
became Governor of Plymouth in 18 14. It may be mentioned that 
his London house, Richmond House, Whitehall, where his eldest 
son was born, was burned clown on December 21st, 1 79 1 , just four 
months after the latter's birth. 

The most notable incident in the Duchess of Richmond's career 
occurred in 1815, in the shape of the famous ball which she gave at 

Brussels on the eve of Waterloo. The Duchess was a 
The Waterloo most appropriate hostess for the soldier. Her mother 

Ball. rr r 

had organised the Gordon Highlanders, her two brothers 
had been in the army, her husband w T as a soldier. One son, Lord 
March (who had been wounded at Orthez in 18 13), was on the 
Prince of Orange's staff. Another, Lord George Lennox, was in the 
Duke's, and a third was in the Blues. A great deal of nonsense has 
been written about the ball, and probably the exact truth will never 
be known. For instance, the late Sir William Fraser, who wrote a 
pamphlet (now very rare) on the battle, declares that the ball-room 
was on the first-floor, and that the Duke of Richmond's house stood in 
the Rue de la Blanchisserie. The site is now covered by the large 
Hospital of the Nursing Sisters of the Order of St Augustine, while the 

The Duchess of Richmond and the Waterloo Ball 41 

room itself is used as the granary of a brewery. The ball-room, which 
was in existence in 1888, was 120 feet long by 34 feet broad and 13 
feet high, and was capable of holding 400 people. ( )n the other hand, 
the Duchess's daughter, Georgiana, who became Lady de Ros, and 
who died in 1891, at the age of 96, gives a different version in the 
charming reminiscences which were published in Murray's Magazine. 
Lady Georgiana, who was 17 years old when the battle was fought, 
had been a great favourite with the Iron Duke, a very old friend of 
her family. He had known them in their home in Sussex, where he 
commanded a brigade, and he had been brought more closely into 
contact with the Lennoxes when he was Secretary at the time of the 
Duke of Richmond's Lord-Lieutenancy. Wellington took a great 
interest in Richmond's third daughter, Georgiana. As a child of twelve 
she used to ride with the Iron Duke when he went out of Viceregal 
Lodge into Phoenix Park to the Dublin Gate, where his offices were ; 
and Lady Georgiana was a prominent figure at all reviews. Indeed, 
she was a persona rratissima with Wellington. Thus, one dav shortlv 
before the battle, the officers wanted an excursion from Brussels, and 
deputed Lady Georgiana to ask the Duke, and, but for the strength of 
the French outposts, he would have acceded to her request. Well, 
then, Lady Georgiana says in her reminiscences that the historic ball- 
room was on the ground Moor, and it was lent to the Duke by a coach- 
builder. The Duke's house, she says, was really No. 9 Rue de Cendres, 
Boulevard Botanique, near the Porte de Cologne. On this point she is 
quite explicit : — 

My mother's famous ball took place in a large room on the ground floor on 
the left of the entrance, connected with the rest of the house by an ante-room. 
It had been used by a coachbuilder, from whom the house was hired, to put 
carriages in, but was papered before we came there — a trellis pattern with 
roses. My sisters and I used it as a schoolroom, and used to play battledore 
and shuttlecock there on a wet day. 

Lady de Ros says there were 175 invitations. Sir William Fraser says 

42 The Gordon Book 

there were 200 guests and 50 ladies. Among those present were the 
Prince of Orange, Prince Ferdinand of Orange, the Duke of Brunswick, 
the Duke of Aremberg, whose eye had been accidentally destroyed by 
Sir William Gordon, a diplomat, in 1775; the Hon. John Gordon 
(afterwards Admiral) ; and the Hon. Sir Alexander Gordon, who fell 
in the battle, grandsons of the third Earl of Aberdeen. Among the 
other guests was Lady Elizabeth Conyngham, who, in 1826 married 
the father of the present Marquis of Huntly (by whom she had no 
issue). It is difficult now to say how many of the Duchess's own 
daughters attended. Tradition, for instance, declares that the younger 
daughter Louisa, who married Mr. Tighe, and died in Ireland in March, 
1900, at the age of 97, buckled on Wellington's sword. Lady Louisa 
wrote to Colonel Greenhill Gardyne, the historian of the Gordon 
Highlanders : — ■ 

I well remember the Gordon Highlanders dancing reels at the ball. My 
mother thought it would interest foreigners to see them, which it did. I re- 
member hearing that some of the poor men who danced in our house died at 
Waterloo. There was quite a crowd to look at the Scotch dancers. 

The ball was certainly a very brilliant affair. One of the best descrip- 
tions of it was given in the Cornhill Magazine a tew years ago : — ■ 

On Thursday, the 15th of June, we went to a great ball that the Duchess of 
Richmond gave, at which we expected to see, from generals down to ensigns, all 
the military men, who, with their regiments, had been for some time quartered 
from 18 to 30 miles from this town, and, consequently, so much nearer the 
frontiers ; nor were we disappointed — with the exception of three generals, every 
officer high in the army was to be there seen. Though for nearly 10 weeks we 
had been daily expecting the arrival of the French troops on the frontiers, and 
had rather been wondering at their delay, yet when, on our arrival at the ball we 
were told that the troops had orders to march at three in the morning, and that 
every officer must join his regiment by that time, as the French were advancing, 
you cannot possibly picture to yourself the dismay and consternation that 
appeared on every face. Those who had brothers and sons to be engaged 
openly gave way to their grief, as the last parting of many took place at this 
most terrible ball ; others (and, thank Heaven, we ranked amongst that number, 
for in the midst of my greatest fears I still felt thankfulness was my prominent 

The Duchess of Richmond and the Waterloo Ball 43 

feeling that my beloved Dick was not here) who had no near relation yet felt 
that amongst the many friends we all had there it was impossible that all should 
escape, and that the next time we might hear of them they might be numbered 
with the dead ; in fact, my dear aunt, I cannot describe to you mingled feelings ; 
you will, however, I am sure, understand them, and I feel quite inadequate to 
express them. We stayed at this ball as short a time as we could, but long 
enough to see express after express arrive to the Duke of Wellington, to hear 
of aides-de-camp arriving breathless with news, and to see, what was more extra- 
ordinary than all, the Duke's equanimity a little discomposed. 

The ball has formed the subject of many stories and several plays. 
The classic example, of course, is I \inity Fair. Thackeray says : — 

There never was, since the days of Darius, such a brilliant train of camp 
followers as hung round the train of the Duke of Wellington's army in the Low 
Countries in 1S15, and led it dancing and feasting, as it were, up to the very 
brink of battle. A certain ball which a noble Duchess gave at Brussels on the 
15th June in the above mentioned year is historical. All Brussels had been in a 
state of excitement about it, and I have heard from ladies who were in that town 
at the period that the talk and interest of persons of their own sex regarding the 
ball was much greater even than in respect of the enemy in their front. The 
struggles, intrigues, and prayers to get tickets were such as only English ladies 
will employ in order to gain admission to the society of the great of their own 

The ball was quite o'orireously mounted at the Adelphi (Sep- 
tember oth-November 20th, 1897), in the melodrama /// the Days of the 
Duke, written by Mr. Haddon Chambers and Mr. Comyns Carr, the third 
act, painted by Mr. W. Harford, showing the "hall and staircase" of the 
Duchess's house. Curiously enough, the Duke and Duchess of Rich- 
mond did not appear in the play, though Sir Alexander Gordon was 
represented. The Duchess, however, figures in Mr. Landon Mitchell's 
dramatisation of Vanity Fair, which Mrs. Fiske presented in America, 
under the title of Becky Sharp, the part being played by Miss Josephine 
Roberts : though not in the Becky Sharp produced at the Prince of 
Wales' Theatre, London, last year, by Miss Marie Tempest. An 
interesting point about this dramatisation is the fact that Mr. Robert 

44 The Gordon Book 

Hichens the adaptor, was assisted by the Duchess's great grandson, 
Mr. Cosmo Gordon Lennox. The ball scene, however, was not staged. 
The Duke of Wellington arrived late. Lady Georgiana, who 
was dancing at the time, went up at once to him and asked him if the 
rumours were true that the French were advancing. " Yes, they are 
true ; we are off to-morrow." The news was circulated immediately. 
She writes : — 

Some of the officers hurried away ; other remained at the ball and actually 
had no time to change their clothes, but fought in evening costume. I went with 
my elder brother, Lord March [A.D.C. to the Prince of Orange], to his house 
which stood in the garden to help him to pack up, after which we returned to 
the ball-room, where we found some energetic and heartless ladies still dancing. 
It was a dreadful evening, taking leave of friends and acquaintances, many never 
to be seen again. The Duke of Brunswick, as he took leave of me in the ante- 
room adjoining the ball-room, made me a civil speech as to the Brunswickers 
being sure to distinguish themselves after the " honour " I had done them by my 
having accompanied the Duke of Wellington to their review. I remember being 
quite provoked with poor Lord Hay, a dashing, merry youth, full of military 
ardour, whom I knew very well, for his delight at the idea of going into action, 
and of all the honours he was to gain. [Both Brunswick and Hay were killed.] 

At the ball supper Lady Georgiana sat next to Wellington, who gave 
her a miniature of himself, painted by a Belgian. Lady Georgiana 
relates this very interesting anecdote : — 

In the course of the evening the noble chief asked my father for a map of 
the country he possessed, and went into the study putting his finger on Waterloo 
and saying the battle would be fought there. Many families and individuals left 
Brussels at once, and we had post horses in the stalls ; but the noble chief 
promised to send us word if we were to leave. On the 16th came the dis- 
quieting news of Quatre Bras, and the death of many friends. On the iSth we 
walked about nearly all morning, being unable to sit quiet hearing the firing, 
and not knowing what was happening. Many wounded officers were brought 
into Brussels, the first sight of which on litters was sickening, and filled us with 
intense anxiety to know who they were. Messages were sent to us that our 
brother was safe. Among the wounded we saw brought in was Lord Lxbridge, 
afterwards Marquis of Anglesey ; Lord Fitzroy Somerset, afterwards Lord 
Raglan ; and the Prince of Orange, to whom my brother March was A.D.C. 

The Duchess of Richmond and the Waterloo Ball 45 

Before going after some men to carry him off the field he [March] tore out of his 
[the Prince's] hat the Orange cockade to prevent his being recognised. The 
Prince afterwards said that this precaution saved his life. We had a fearful 
alarm during the day, as the Cumberland army came tearing through Brussels to 
say that the allied army was beaten, and the French were coming into the 
town. Much credit was given to this report. Although alarming, the truth soon 
became known that these Hussars had been pursued, and after hearing the 
whistle of shots about their ears wheeled round and left the town. During the 
15th, 16th, and many succeeding days we were employed in preparing lint for 
the wounded. On the evening of the 18th the brilliant victory was known at 
Brussels, and very thankful were we that those whom we had known at the 
front were protected, and that the war was at an end ; although the losses were 
great. The next morning the Duke arrived in Brussels, and about 10 a.m. my 
father and I walked up to his house. The Duke met them m the park, and 
looked sad ; and when we shook hands he said : " It is a hardly bought victory ; 
we have lost so many fine fellows." My father asked him to dinner, and he 
refused, stating that in coming to Brussels he had given up his bed to poor Sir 
Alexander Gordon, who was dying of his wounds, and whose groans were so 
distressing he could not get on writing his despatches. 

One can well imagine the intense anxiety of the Duchess of Richmond 
and her daughter, for her husband and her sons were in the 
fight. This is brought most clearly out by General Cavalie Mercer, 
commanding the Ninth Brigade of Royal Artillery, who, writing in 
his Journal of the Waterloo Campaign, on June 15th, records 
that he was left alone that evening at a little Belgian village called 
Yseringen, because all the other officers had gone off to the ball at 
Brussels. On the morning of June 16th — the day on which Quatre 
Bras was fought — officers of all ranks were to be seen hurrying to the 
front on their jaded horses, dressed in the embroidered uniforms and 
white pantaloons which they had worn at the Duchess of Richmond's 
ball. Cavalie Mercer, in describing the morning of June 18th — Water- 
loo day — employs the following words : — ■ 

As I was standing by my battery of artillery, a line, tall, upright old gentle- 
man in plain clothes, followed by two very young ones, crossed our front at a 
gallop from the Brussels road, and continued in the direction of our right wing, 
where the firing was very heavy. I stared with surprise to see three unarmed 

4 6 The Gordon Book 

civilians pressing forward into so hot a fight. They were the Duke of Richmond 
and his two sons. 

The latter were Lord William Pitt Lennox, aged sixteen, and Lord 
Frederick Lennox, aged fourteen. 

Mr. John Kent, in his Reminiscences of Goodwood relates a remark- 
able incident of the Duke of Richmond at Waterloo. The Inniskillings 
were on the point of advancing across the Awarve Road to charge, 
when an individual on the left in plain clothes called out " Now's your 
time!" This was Richmond, who, though he held no rank in the army, 
followed his old friend Wellington through all the dangers of the day, 
and even rode into the squares of the infantry while under the fire of 
the enemy. On the morning after Waterloo the Duke of Richmond 
and Lord March rode over the field, and brought home a lot of trophies 
from the field. Wellington's victory completely disproved the pessim- 
ism of the Duchess of Richmond's mother, of whom Susan Ferrier, the 
novelist, as quoted in Doyle's Memoir of her, wrote to a friend in 
1809 : — 

We're first to die of famine in the winter ; and Bonaparte's to come and rob 
us all the spring. So says the Duchess of Gordon, and it must be so, because, 
she says, everything she has ever predicted has always come to pass. 

The great Duchess, it may be remembered, tried to marry one of her 
daughters to Napoleon's stepson, Eugene Beauharnais. In the 
winter of 181 5 the Duke gave a ball at the Elysee, in Paris, at 
which Lady Georgiana Lennox was present. Thirty-eight years later 
she was in that same ball-room, on the eve of Lord Raglan and his 
staff's going to the Crimea. Lady de Ros used to give the veteran 
Lord Albemarle (who fought as an ensign at Waterloo), a laurel leaf 
every year in memory of Waterloo. In 1892 he took the laurel leaf to 
the Military Tournament, and gave it to the young Duke of Albany, 
who had come to see the old warrior. Albemarle's grandson, the Hon. 
George Keppel, once served, it is interesting to remember, in the 
Gordon Highlanders. 

The Duchess of Richmond and the Waterloo Ball 


The Duchess took the keenest interest in the Regiment which her 

mother had established. Thus, when the Duke of Richmond succeeded 

The Duchess and ms Dr other-in-law the Duke of Bedford, the Lord- 

the Gordon Lieutenant of Ireland, in 1807, he reviewed the Gordon 


Highlanders; and Colonel Greenhill Gardyne tells us 
that the Duchess made much of them, and applied for two regimental 
bonnets, probably for her boys. 

The Duke died from the effects of the bite of a fox, near Rich- 
mond, Montreal — he became Governor of Canada in 1818 — on August 

28th, 1819. It may be remembered that Lord Doneraile 
Her Children. , ., , r „,. T ^ , 

met the same terrible late in 1887. I he Duchess, who 

outlived him by twenty-three years, died on May 5th, 1842, at the ao-e 

of seventy-three. She bore the Duke fourteen children, namely, seven 

sons and seven daughters, as follows : — 

1. Charles, z,th Duke of Richmond, 1791 -1S60. He adopted, by royal license, 

the name of " Gordon" in front of " Lennox" (on the death of his uncle) 
on August 9th, 1836. He was wounded at the battle of Orthez, and 
was A.D.C. to the Prince of Orange at Waterloo. He was the 
father of 

Charles Henry, 6th Duke of Richmond and Gordon, who was created 
Duke of Gordon in 1876. 

2. Lord John George Lennox, 1793-1873. He had five sons, among them 

Sir Wilbraham Oates Lennox, of the Royal Engineers, who won the 
Victoria Cross at the battle of Sebastopol. 

3. Lord Henry Adam Lennox, Royal Navy, who was drowned by falling 

overboard from H.M.S. Blake, when sailing from Portmahon in 1812. 

4. Lord William Pitt Lennox, 1 799-1881. lie wrote his memoirs. 

5. Lord Frederick Lennox, 1 801 -1 829. He was an officer in the army. 

6. Lord Sussex Lennox, 1802-1874. 

7. Lord Arthur Lennox, 1806- 1864. He was in the army. 

8. Lady Mary Lennox, married Sir Charles Fitzroy, and died in 1847. 

9. Lady Sarah Lennox, married in the year of Waterloo Sir Peregrine 

Maitland, and died in 1854. She was the grandmother of Captain 
Frederick Kerr, D.S.O., of the Gordon Highlanders, and of Commander 
Kerr, R.N., who made an interesting reference to Jane Maxwell, on 
the occasion of a recent visit of the torpedo flotilla to Aberdeen. 

4 S The Gordon Book 

10. Lady Georgiana Lennox, 1795-1891, married the 23rd Lord de Ros. She 
wrote an extremely interesting account of her mother's Waterloo ball. 

1 1. Lady Jane Lennox, died 1861, married Lawrence Peel, son of the first Sir 
Robert Peel. It is interesting to note that her daughter, Constance, 
married into the Gordon family, for in 1803 she became the wife of 
Colonel George Grant Gordon, grandson of the ninth Marquis of Huntly. 

12. Lady Louisa Madeline Lennox, October 2nd, 1803-March 2nd, 1900, 

married the Right Hon. W. F. F. Tighe, of Woodstock, Kilkenny. 

13. Lady Charlotte Lennox, 1 804- 1 833, married the first Baron Fitzhardinge, 

of Bristol. Her daughter married the second Lord Gifford, and was 
the mother of that gallant officer, the Hon. Maurice Gifford. 

14. Lady Sophia Georgiana Lennox, October 2nd, 1809-January 17th, 1902, 

married Lord Thomas Cecil, son of the first Marquis of Exeter. 

The descendants of the Duchess have numbered close on a hundred 
and fifty, and several of her great-great-great-grandchildren are alive, 
including Lord Settrington's children. A large number of her descend- 
ants have been, or are, in the army. Among them are the four sons of 
Sir Henry Trotter, commanding the Home District, who married the 
daughter of Lady Charlotte Fitzhardinge, that is to say, the grand- 
daughter of the Duchess of Richmond. There is a strong literary 
instinct in the Lennoxes. Lord William Pitt and his sister, Lady de 
Ros, both wrote, and Constance Lady Russell, the daughter of Lord 
Arthur Lennox, is the author of a capital book on Swallowfield, in 
Berks, where she lives. It is the house of the Pitts, who are descended 
from the Innes family of Reidhall. 

The recent deaths of the veteran ladies — Ladies Louise Tighe and 

Lady Sophia Cecil, both of them grand-daughters of Lady Charlotte 

Lennox — show the extraordinary vitality of the family. 

Lady Louisa L a dv de Ros, the elder sister, was 96 when she died, 
Tighe. J 

Lady Louisa was 97, and Lady Sophia 93. Lady Louisa 

spent most of her life in Kilkenny. She saw four sovereigns on the 

throne, and lived to entertain the Prince and Princess of Wales, then 

Duke and Duchess of York, at her Irish home at Woodstock. More 

than a hundred years before, her father had fought his duel with the 

Lady Sophia Cecil. 

Lady Sophia Georgiana was one of the seven daughters of the 4th Duke of Richmond (bv Ladv 
Charlotte Gordon) and consequently an aunt of the present Duke. She was born in 1809, married Lord 
Thomas Cecil (son of the 1st Marquis of Exeter) in 1S38, and died January 17, 1902. This picture is 
reproduced by the courtesy of James Russell & Sons, Baker Street, London. 

The Duchess of Richmond and the Waterloo Ball 


previous Duke of York. Far away from Courts and the national turmoil 
of her childhood, Lady Louisa spent a charmed life at Woodstock. The 
estate extends over an area of forty miles, and the drives and walks cover 
some 500 miles in all directions. A writer in Mr. T. P. O'Connor's 
lively weekly gave some interesting details about this haven of rest 
where Lady Louisa grew so old : — 

The house is of g- ra nite, with countless windows which give it somewhat 
severe lines. Inside, the visitor notices the grand hall and staircase, from the 
windows of which the most charming views of the gardens are obtained, ablaze 
in summer with a tropical wealth of bloom. Terrace rises upon terrace, with 
bank upon bank of lavish colour. Each stone in the marble terrace is from 
designs of Daniel Sullivan, each one different, and each representative of some 
striking scene in different nations. . . . Hundreds of deer are killed yearly 
at Woodstock, but, curiously enough, only the right side is ever eaten or cooked. 
The custom has its origin from the fact that in generations gone by a favourite 
deer was accidently wounded on the left side, and its owner declared that hence- 
forth no Woodstock deer should ever be shot or harmed unless the sportsman 
touched the right side. There are other quaint customs and privileges, one of 
which is the right of all tenants to lay their grievances or disputes before their 
lord and master, not entering the house to do so, but standing in the outer 
courtyard, which is directly under the study window. Here the late Colonel 
Tighe came every morning at a fixed hour, Sundays excepted, it being an un- 
written law that he should never refuse the request of the widowed and fatherless, 
while his tenants were pledged to abide by his decisions as they were by those 
of Lady Louisa after the " Colonel's " death. 

An enormous number of men are employed upon the various farms and 
estates at Woodstock ; on the " Home Farm " 300 men work daily in all seasons, 
while 100 women and girls are hired simply to pick up the fallen leaves and keep 
the borders weeded. These workers were clad by Lad)- Louisa in a most 
picturesque uniform of green and white, at her sole expense. The skirts were of 
shamrock green, pinned back over under skirts of a darker shade of the same 
colour; the bonnets of plaited straw, made in quaint cottage style, with strings 
to tie under the chin. These women were Lady Louisa's special protegees. 

There are six lodges at Woodstock, given in charge of persons, usually 
women, who have lost their money, and are obliged to work for their support. 
Lady Louisa constantly built houses on the estate for philanthropic purposes. 
One of these, " The Red House," is kept solely for visitors, who, however, have 
to wait their turn, and are obliged to send in the proposed date of their visit, 



The Gordon Book 

with their names, which are all entered in a book kept for the purpose. Upon 
the day selected they are received with almost royal welcome. A luncheon is 
provided, and they are waited upon by servants, who pay them every attention, 
show them the grounds, and even provide boats for them to go on the lake if 
so inclined. The gamekeeper has a very picturesque cottage, as has also the 
wood-ranger, near whose house is a stream which is carried five miles to supply- 
Woodstock with water. From a splendid spring of bubbling water, famed for 
its deliciously icy clearness, and called " The Silver Spring," Lady Louisa had 
two pailfuls carried to her every morning, a distance of three miles. It is said 
that to maintain Woodstock costs £3,000 a week. 

-CiSLady Sophia Cecil, who died on January 17th, 1902, was the last of 
the Duchess of Richmond's fourteen children. She was a great favourite 
of her father, one ot 
whose last instruc- 
tions was : " Give 
my favourite little 
dog, Blucher, to 
my daughter Mary. 
The sight of him 
will make her cry 
at first, but turn 
him into the room 
when she is alone 
and shut the door. 
Tell March that I know how much he will regret to find himself Duke 
of Richmond, but I feel certain that my estates, and all that I leave 
him will qo into the hands of one of the most honourable men in Engf- 
land. Give my warm love to Louisa and Charlotte, and do not forget 
little Sophia, who will, I am sure, follow in the steps of her elder sisters." 
These are only a few of the stories that could be told about the 
house of Richmond and Gordon. It has occupied a very prominent 
place in the history of the country, and its members have, almost without 
exception, distinguished themselves in every branch ot the public service. 

The Duchess of Richmond and her Husband, 
the Hosts of the "Waterloo Ball." 

J. M. Bulloch. 

Cosmo George, 3RD Duke of Gordon. 

This picture, painted by Philip Mercier (1689-1760), hangs in Gordon Castle, and shows the Duke at 
the age of 25. The Duke, who was christened after Cosmo de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, who was 
a friend of his father, was born about 1720, and succeeded his father, the 2nd Duke, in 172S. He 
married Catherine, only daughter of his brother-in-law, the 2nd Earl of Aberdeen, and was the father of 
Lord George Gordon, the Anti-Popish Rioter. He died near Amiens, on August 5, 1752. 


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Zbc Xocal Scenery of jfocbabers. 

MPRESSIVELY realistic is the scenery around Fochabers, for 
nature has been left so much undisturbed here that in some parts 
its savagery is matchless. The noise of that swift mountain torrent the 
Spey, the wimpling of the burns, the red scarred crags, the deep 
ravines, the purple heathery hills, the braes mantled in yellow broom, 
the primeval fir trees — there is majesty and grandeur on every hand. 
" Lat's gae doon," as they would say in Fochabers, to the Spey and 
follow the beautiful river. 

We are in the gulch or mouth of the Aultdarg Burn- the summit 
of the banks rising many hundreds of feet above our head. At our 
feet rush the waters of the rapid Spey that have traversed close on a 
hundred miles of Highland territory. See how "she" (Spey is always 
referred to locally, after the idiom of the Highlanders, affectionately in 
the feminine) approaches us with all the impetuous, tearless force, and 
daring of a daughter of the heather. Banks and bulwarks she des- 
pises, as o'er her "scaups" she rushes with unbridled energy. By the 
braes of Ordiquish we find her at her best, swirling furiously onwards. 
Let us mark time here, for nature has come in the shape of a sweet 
tract of green sward to add a refreshing charm to the scene. The 
braes are decked in yellow broom. Beyond, in the uplands, are the 
cosy hamlets of Ordiquish. ( )n Spey's western shore lie the Haughs of 
Dipple, the extensive farm of Orbliston, and man}- others, backed by 

52 The Gordon Book 

the Tienland hills. "Up" Spey, historic Orton, Ben Aigen, and 
Ben Rinnes loom tranquilly. Look well at the pool of the river, 
where the salmon is in his proper element. Here have we, as bairns, 
with much splashing and frolic, jumped into the stream, but, in the 
end, came out expert swimmers. 

Passing " The Quarters," by Fochabers (where the salmon of the 
Richmond and Gordon fishings are packed, nets are dried and mended, 
boats beached and re-tarred), "she" drives headlong full force against 
the " Red Craigs," by the Brig o' Spey, and finding " she" can neither 
demolish the brig nor the old red sandstone rocks, "she" sullenly 
hugs the shores of the " Boat Land," the mooring ground of the 
wherryman in the days of long ago. Away "she" tears, hissing and 
seething, giving a final catch-me-if-you-can splutter, and, with much 
indignation, summarily hurls her waters into the " cauld North Sea." 

Into the Spey, from her eastern shore, run the Burn of Fochabers, 
the Burn of Ordiquish, and the Burn of Aultdarg (Aldarg). The Burn 
of Fochabers skirts the south side of the town, and on its margin there 
is a sweet acreage of green grass, termed the " Burn Green," used for 
the statutory trysts and cattle markets; in fact, it is the "bleach- 
green" and clachan of the town — the schoolboy's battle-ground as 
well, where the present writer had to fight many a time, "knees and 
elbies and a'," like a mountain cat, and make hair fly about like rain, 
until he was either literally worsted, "clean forfochten," or had his 
adversary — which was very seldom — biting the dust at his feet. 

Journeying inland, " up " the Burn we find a most romantic, 
picturesque country — the larch, the birch, the fir, the bracken, and 
the heather growing in all their pristine luxuriance. The sides of the 
Burn are veritable precipices. In the solitudes of the rivulet, we find 
the roe deer, black game, the hill fox; also the gled and sparrow hawk; 
the owl as well. In the underwood, which, in some instances, is 
impenetrable, the pole cat, the stoat, even the badger, have their 
lairs. About half a mile further up Spey we come to the Burn of 

The Local Scenery of Fochabers 53 

Ordiquish, charming in its placid simplicity as it nears the Spey, but. 
away at its source, by the brown, heathery Hill of Ordiquish, at a spot 
called the " Tor Castles," it is majestically rugged and grand. The 
chasm of the Burn is at least from 300 to 400 feet in depth, and it is 
only about four yards wide in some places. To survey the splendid 
array of red crags, the brows of which are tufted with heather, shaggy 
grass, or yellow broom, springing hundreds of feet aloft — red spectres, 
their summit as sharp as the arrow of the Indian — the stillness of 
solitude is awe-inspiring, broken only by the curlew's note in the 
moss and fell beyond, the whirr of a blackcock, or the flash of a snipe. 

The moment is stimulating and heroic. On the moorland close at 
hand, embedded in the heather, there is a gigantic stone of great 
dimensions. How it came there no man can tell. It is a splendid 
resting-place, however, for the weary shepherd boys of Ordiquish, and, 
strange to say, it is called "Jean Carr " (a lassie again). Another 
half-mile further "up" the Spey and we are at the Burn of Aultdarg, 
a more pretentious rivulet than that of Ordiquish. Here, again, we 
have the same picturesque and rugged reality. Down, down, hundreds 
of feet down, the foam of the bubbling burn, on its journey to the 
parent Spey, sings cheerfully. There is music in its murmurings. 
" 'Mong moors and mosses monnie, O," we try to track the source of 
the stream. Endless seem the scarred peaks and crags. Away in 
impenetrable hazel nooks and dens croodles the cushie, and Scotland's 
nightingale, the mavis, and the blackbird. From its lair in the 
heather springs the mountain hare, and a flock of wild ducks whirrs past. 

Hark to the yelp of a fox in the moorland. A half-dozen deer 
spring up the ravines like lightning. Here again is the profound 
stillness of solitude - the unspeakable something that almost insists 
upon our worshipping nature : nature that seems to dwarf every other 
circumstance. We are held in thrall by the ancient spell of the 
locality, by the traditions of battles fought and won, by the stories of 
death struggles on the moor — the hiding-ground of the brave Jacobites, 

54 The Gordon Book 

by the creepy superstitious romance about the fairies and the water 
kelpie. Here no day-dream of the telephone and the telegraph wire 
distracts, nor even the whistle of a railway engine, for the iron-horse 
has no abiding place in the lands of the Richmond and Gordon. 
With the irresistible noise of the cataracts in our ears, we dip through 
bramble, wild rose, thorn, broom, and whin, into the bed of the burn. 
On every side are forests of larch and pine trees, with underwood thick. 
We are at the mouth of Aultdarg Burn again, where the otter lurks and 
laughs to the moon. Onwards we follow, for a mile or two, the course 
of the rushing river. 

There is an indissoluble intensity about the " Bellie Road," 
despite its splendid earn, birch, and elm trees. It is the solemn 
highway to the kirkyard, where in peace sleep the fore-fathers 
of Fochabers. The conventional artist has invariably limned 
Gordon Castle in a superabundance of foliage and tranquillity that 
would betoken its enjoying eternal summer; but Gordon Castle cannot 
be really seen until "fields and forests are bare," when the snow- 
charged clouds drive past its ancient turrets, and sleet and hail course 
through the battlements ; when the angry northern wind howls and 
whistles amongst its cavernous corridors and spacious halls, making 
the very tapestry and ancestral pictures shiver on its walls. Then 
the Castle is "The Castle": serene in storm and blast. Seaward, 
about a mile beyond, approaching the Bogmoor, Dallachy, and 
Auchinhalrig corner of the Gordon estates, on the Portgordon Road, 
is the prehistoric landmark, the Gavin Brae', rich in local associations, 
and embowered in dense natural brushwood and patriarchal firs. 

Returning we pass the picturesque kennels, with the bay of the deer- 
hound, the Gordon setters, spaniels, and retrievers ; past the saw-mill, 
with its rustic wheels and mill-leads ; the tranquil Home Farm, with its 
brave array of corn ricks. We are near the 1 J )eer Park, by " Wishart's 
Burn," the only dell that the Richmond and Gordon family, in 
their magnanimous, self-denying generosity, have expressed a wish 

The Last Duchess of Gordon. 

This picture is reproduced from the miniature in enamel by William Essex (1784-1869) at Gordon 
Castle. The Duchess was Elizabeth Brodie, daughter of Alexander Brodie of Arnhall, Kincardine. 
She married the 5th Duke of Gordon (then Marquis of Huntly) on December 11, 1813. There was no 
issue of the marriage. The Duke died in London, May 28, 1836. The Duchess, who was 24 years 
younger than the Duke, died at Huntly Lodge, January, 31, 1864. in her 70th year. The picture shows 
her in a plain black velvet gown. 

The Local Scenery of Fochabers 55 

should be dedicated to their privacy. It is a magnificent spot, with 
its underwood of bracken, bramble, wild flowers, venerable fir trees, 
lime, elm, and outspreading beech. Here, on the Cullen Road 
margin, there is a Swiss chalet, encircled with flowers and foliage, where 
the families used to have afternoon tea al fresco. Then we debouch 
from the Burn and enter woods which are the offspring of the soil the 
indigenous plants and trees of the locality— the bending, elegant birch, 
the mountain ash, the bonnie hazel, the saugh, the haw, the bourtree, the 
briar, the bracken. Within this forest we find the " Red Burn," with 
crags and peaks and jagged, red banks. Away through a territory of 
bramble, bracken, and heather, knee deep, we encounter the well- 
known and dearly beloved " Sma' Burn," which in some parts eclipses 
" Wishart's." Down in its deep bed, with its cascades of purling 
water, its mossy banks studded with "pinkies" (primroses) and 
blue bells, the splendid emerald covering of prodigal foliage overhead, 
the silvery birch, the mammoth whin bushes, hark the song of the 
mellow mavis and blackbird ; in the heart of yon hazel thicket, the 
robin, who in winter will not despise the fireside, and will even assist 
at praise and prayer in the Auld Kirk, but now that it is summer 
is shy and coy. Aloft, the swinging abode of "Jenny Wren," who, 
manibus pedibusquc, will combat with the gayest Gordon. 

The air gets more rarified and keener : we are ascending the Hill 
of Fochabers. The " keely, keely," of the voracious sparrow-hawk, 
the croose craw of the muir-cock, the flip of the snipe, the soft note of 
the heather lintie, the chatter of the titmouse and the golden-crested 
wren, tell us we are very near moorland. We glance to the right, and 
look on a scene of great magnificence in nature run wild — -brown 
mountain heather, the drooping ash, the birch, the hazel, lichen- 
covered giant firs; down in a ravine of hundreds and hundreds of feet, 
far, far below, the gurgling rivulet, commonly called the Dramlachs 
(" Druimlag " being the Gaelic for hollow, back of hill). There are 
three such ravines, each one vicing with the other in splendour and 

56 The Gordon Book 

natural picturesqueness. Near the " Dramlachs," in a secluded spot 
of gowan and moss)- banks, we come to Charlie's Brig, a structure of 
the old county road, and across it the troops of Bonnie Prince Charlie 
marched. Still, "O'er the moor, amang the heather," the very fir 
trees now ceasing to grow, the whin bushes here being fantastically 
cropped by the hungry mountain hare and rabbit. The airissnell and 
keen. We find ourselves on a plateau of brown, crisp heather. We 
are on the summit of " White Ash," about two miles from the town, 
and at an altitude of 866 feet. Away beyond is the Hill of Aultmore, 
where the grouse, snipe, blackcock, and roedeer are in abundance. 
On the other side of the Inverness Road is the universally revered 
" Slorach's Wood." From White Ash we get a splendid view of the 
Moray Firth, the shores of Ross and Cromarty, the city of Elgin, the 
" Laich o' Moray," and the valley of the Spey. 

We cry halt by a noble cairn, erected to a noble Duchess who was 
never tired of well-doing for Fochabers and its inhabitants. On one 
of the stones runs the following inscription : — 

This Cairn is erected in Memory of 
FRANCES HARRIET, Duchess of Richmond. 
1 SS7. 

Hark, in the distance, miles below, the war-note of the Gordons, 
savage and shrill ! The Duke of Richmond and Gordon is in his ducal 
ha'. How the sound of the pipes stirs one ! No belted Highlanders 
may parade the highways and byways of the ancestral home of the 
noble clan. There may be an absence of parade, but the fierce native 
daring is there as much as ever it was in the days of a Wallace and a 
Bruce ; and, for Britain's rights, aye ready to turn the bonnet o'er the 
broo and buckle the broadsword to the side. But we are surveying 
the tranquil and picturesque scenery around Fochabers, and must 
confess that, for characteristic Scottish grandeur, Fochabers and 
the Richmond and Gordons " hae the guidiri dt" 

George Roy Duncan. 
I. u\ [ion, 21st June, 1902. 

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Ubc Store of fllMlne's Jnstitutton. 

PEW places throughout the country can boast as their centre of 
1 education such a palatial pile as Milne's Institution. Standing 
some distance beyond the village, it occupies a commanding position, 
and at once arrests the attention of the visitor, invariably calling forth 
admiration alike for the handsome nature of the building and the 
beauty of its surroundings. It is of the Tudor-Gothic style of archi- 
tecture, combining solidity with chaste ornamentation. The balcony 
overlooking its terraced front, the large lawn stretching down to the 
main entrance, the tasteful shrubbery on the outskirts of the grounds, 
added to its charming situation, mark it out as a lordly mansion. On 
the north it looks beyond " The Belt " into the policies of Gordon 
Castle ; immediately to the east rises, in easy ascent, the dark pine 
wood that clothes " White Ash " ; the panorama of the Spey spreads 
its charms towards the south ; while, to the west, it commands a bird's- 
eye view of Fochabers, to which it stands as the " Alma Mater." 

The people of Fochabers may well be pardoned if they exhibit 
feelings of pride in " The Institution." This feeling of regard for the 
School is a very well-defined one, and strangers, far from the banks of 
Spey, are apt to smile at the somewhat glorified picture of his old 
school drawn by some enthusiastic old pupil of " Milne's." Within 
the village itself the great bulk of the householders are old pupils, and 
still a few are left who can proudly point out to the ignorant the spot 

58 The Gordon Book 

where was laid the first stone, and who can recall the events that 
centre in their minds round that foundation ceremony. 

All honour to the man who furnished the means of founding this 
seat of learning, this link binding the present generation to the past, 
this anchor, in some cases, amid the stress of life ! Alexander Milne 
was born in Fochabers about the year 1742. He was for a time a 
servant at Gordon Castle, but quitted the service of his Grace to go 
to America — the result, if report be true, of his independent spirit. 
Those were the days when the perruque was still worn, and the story 
goes that, on the change of fashion, the Duke ordered his domestic to 
cut his queue. Milne had a mind to wear his hair as he thought fit, 
and his Grace to be obeyed, so they parted, Milne going to push his 
fortunes across the seas. But the " bountiful blind woman " did not 
smile on him for some time, and this wooer of Fortune is said, as in 
the case of Goldsmith, to have played his way through some cities, 
and afterwards to have opened business on the American streets as a 
vendor of small lamps, a wheelbarrow containing all his stock-in-trade. 
Be that as it may, he seems to have been possessed of alert sagacity 
and true Scot's grit, and Fortune eventually opened to him her bounti- 
ful hand. 

It was in New Orleans that he settled, and there, after amassing- a 
considerable fortune, he died in October, 1838, at the age of 96. Having 
had a hard struggle with fortune, he was probably even stern in his ideas 
as to how business should be conducted. A relative, whom he had set 
up in business for himself in America, one day proposed taking a short 
holiday. But "holiday" was no word in the old man's business voca- 
bulary, and he is reported immediately to have retorted: " If you wish 
a holiday, then bring- me the key." 

Fochabers was by no means the only place which participated in 
the result of his labours. His money was bequeathed in many a deserv- 
ing way, and in the State of Louisiana alone he gave the means of 
founding and endowing no fewer than four asylums for destitute orphan 

Milne's Institution 59 

boys and girls. The share left to his native place at one time trembled 
in the balance of the law courts. In the will, no one had been nomi- 
nated to receive the legacy of 100,000 dollars assigned to Fochabers, 
and, when the Duke of Richmond as Superior and Feudal Lord, and 
Alexander Marquis as Baron Bailie, became plaintiffs for the legacy 
before the Court of Probate, they lost on the double ground that they 
were aliens, and that they lacked authority to receive the money. The 
matter, however, was not allowed to rest here ; but his Grace, appealing 
to the Supreme Court, had judgment given in his favour on 15th March, 
1 84 1. It has been well said that this may well be held as Founders' 
Day in commemoration of a gift in which a Duke and an old family 
servant were so intimately, and, indeed, romantically associated. 

It was fitting that the Duke and his Commissioner should have 
been appointed two of the five ex-officio Directors of the first Board, 
and that they remain so under the Endowments Commissioners' scheme 
ol 1888. The other cx-officio Directors under the first scheme were 
the Baron Bailie, the Sheriff of Elgin, and the Parish Minister. The 
remaining three were to be elected by the feuars of Bellie. The first 
meeting of Directors was held on 23rd August, 1843, when the building 
arrangements were at once entered upon. The estimated cost was over 
,£3,000, and it approached nearly to .£4,000 before completion. 

The more one examines the edifice, the more surprising does it 
seem that this magnificent pile could have been reared for so compara- 
tively trifling a sum. The fine stone, the solid masonry, and the wealth 
of delicate carving give the impression that, at the present day at least, 
the whole legacy would have been required for the building alone. It 
certainly is a standing tribute to the taste and ability of the architect, 
Mr. Thomas McKenzie, Elgin. 

It was felt that the opening ceremony could be discharged by no 
one but by the Duke of Richmond, who, in addition to the interest dis- 
played to so much advantage, had granted the site for the building. 
The rest of the work was accordingly pushed forward, a portion of the 

60 The Gordon Book 

east wing, just adjoining the door of the Rector's house, being left un- 
built in order to have the foundation-stone laid there when his Grace 
should come in the autumn. 

It was on the 3rd September, 1845, that this interesting ceremony 
took place. Some of the older inhabitants still point out this stone, 
beneath which is buried the record of the Institution's history. The 
day was one of rejoicing, and, in the evening, those who had been 
associated in the work of building, celebrated the event around the 
festive board. 

The Monday of November, 1846, on which the school was opened, 
was another gala day in the community. The directors, teachers, and 
pupils, inhabitants of Fochabers, and strangers from the surrounding 
towns and villages, mustered in the Square, and, headed by Fochabers 
Instrumental Band, filed off in procession to the school. The road was 
crowded with townspeople and strangers, while within the building was 
assembled a large audience, which completely filled the spacious hall 
and two side rooms connected therewith, the gallery being thronged with 
ladies, amongst whom were the Duchess of Richmond and the Ladies 
Caroline Augusta and Cecilia Gordon- Lennox. In his opening speech 
his Grace sketched the career of the founder of the Institution, who left, 
" poor in purse but rich in persevering industry," in order to push his 
fortunes in the Far West. 

Milne's Institution forms a fitting monument to the memory of this 
benevolent Scotsman, for not only with regard to the building might 
" circumspice " be the command proudly written for the visitor, but 
throughout the length and breadth of the land men of note in every 
sphere of life may be found who owed their early education to this 
northern seminary, and who have realised the aim of the school, as 
defined by his Grace in addressing the pupils on that opening day, 
when he claimed as its function " the fostering of habits of regularity, 
mental excellence, honest industry, and virtuous conduct ; the rendering 
them obedient to the lawful authorities, and worthy of sharing the 
privileges of a free and enlightened country." 

Milne's Institution 61 

In the educational world " Milne's Institution" has always been a 
name suggestive of sound education and genuine scholarship ; while, as 
a boarding establishment, it has a wide repute. In the days when, in 
most places, secondary education was unknown, this school was one 
of the best known in Scotland as a stepping-stone to the University, and 
attracted pupils from far and near. Within the first three years, several 
bursaries were gained, the first fruits of a long list of successes of which 
any school might well be proud. The last Prospectus issued contains 
the following information : — 

During the last fifteen years, pupils going directly from the Institution have 
gained in open competition at the University of Aberdeen over Sixty Bursaries, 
representing a sum of over £900, tenable for four years ; and, in their after 
curriculum, several of them have taken highest honours, and gained the most 
valuable prizes and scholarships in the University. The following places have 
been taken in the Aberdeen University Bursary Competition lists during the 
above period : — 1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th, nth, 12th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 
1 8th, &c. Within a period of eight years the following Open Scholarships and 
Prizes at the University were gained by old boys of Milne's Institution : — 

The Simpson Greek Prize of ,£65. 

The Simpson Mathematical Prize of £6$. 

The Boxhill Mathematical Prize of £2$ (twice). 

Dr. Black's Prize for Latin, ,£28. 

Neil Arnott Prize for Physics, ,£35. 

Jenkyns Prize for Classical Philosophy, £S. 

Seafield Gold Medal for Latin. 

Town Council Gold Medal (three times). 

The Alexander Murray Scholarship, £70. 

The John Murray Medal and Scholarship (three times). £70. 

The Thompson Fellowship (twice). 

The Fullerton, Moir, and Gray Scholarships, £ 100. 

Many of the former pupils occupy important positions in Her Majesty's Civil 
Service, the commercial world, and all the professions. 

In the recent Civil Service examination for Girl Clerkships, an old 
pupil, who left the Institution last year, took the first place. 

The desire for advanced education is a feature perhaps more charac- 
teristic of the North of Scotland than of the South. Several pupils still 

62 The Gordon Book 

walk from three to four miles to the Institution in order to have the 
advantage of secondary education, while two miles is thought nothing 
of. Others, again, from the Orbliston direction, now have the advantage 
of the branch railway, and come by train, who, under the old regime, 
would also have required " to take up their own carriages " and walk to 
school. To walk a total daily distance of eight or nine miles for the 
sake of higher education, in itself bespeaks an earnest desire to succeed 
in life. This spirit must react on pupils living in closer proximity to the 
school, and herein undoubtedly lies one of the secrets ol its success. 
In the most remote days, again, families were attracted to this centre 
from surrounding counties, as the best education was within the reach 
of all at " Milne's Free School." And thus were drafted into the village 
many families whose members were all imbued with a desire to succeed, 
and whose aim at the close of their school career was to take a high 
place in the University Bursary List. The adjoining seaport villages, 
too, then as now, were amongst the places which sent in pupils who, if 
if they did not go to College, perhaps became trustworthy captains 
known on the high seas. With all these causes at work in the scatter- 
ing abroad over the country of old pupils, one ceases to be surprised to 
learn that, of a small drawing-room party which lately met one evening 
in a southern county, no fewer than five of those assembled accidentally 
discovered that they had each a connection with Milne's Institution. 

It is a pleasing feature about the associations of the school, and an 
encouraging one for those who labour there, that so many old pupils re- 
visit their old training ground. In every case a degree of enthusiasm 
is manifested that cheers the heart of the reigning Rector. The men 
who have successively acted as Headmasters of this school have been 
well-known educationists, and it is only necessary to mention such names 
as Dr. Robert Ogilvie, late H.M. Chief Inspector for Scotland, 
Mr. A. R. Andrew, and Mr. A. Lobban, H.M. Inspectors of Schools, 
to guarantee the calibre of the men looked for to fill this important post. 
It is surely a high tribute to those educators of youth, and bespeaks 

Milne's Institution, Fochabers. 

From a Photograph by Mr. William Wishart, M.A., B.Sc, the Rector. 

Milne's Institution 63 

noble ideals of education that, while the stories of bygone school days 
take on a different hue according to the regime under which the narrator 
spent his pupilage, the spirit of love for the old school and veneration 
for the then Rector remain in the hearts of the old scholars. Many a 
story these tell of doughty deeds done in held and wood, on the river, 
or in the quiet village. Nor are stories awanting, we may be sure, of 
many a boyish prank played even in the sanctum sanctorum of the 
Rector's Room. But while the listener — perhaps a new Rector— good- 
humouredly hearing those tales, mentally makes allowances for boyish 
reminiscences, his heart warms as he hears this old pupil, and now dis- 
tinguished man, do honour to the name of the Rector of that day ; and, 
as the visitor becomes " the lad o' pairts " again, calling up incidents 
connected with the " Bursary Comp.," this teacher of the young feels 
that some men at this seat of learning must have succeeded in educating, 
in Locke's sense of the word, having produced sound minds in sound 
bodies. This seems to have been the ideal aimed at throughout the 
whole history of the Institution, and is still the watchword of the teach- 
ing staff. 

The Governors have done their part by careful and judicious 
management. A Science School and Workshop have recently been 
added to the buildings, and in other ways every effort has been made 
to keep abreast of the times ; and, as the natural charms of the place 
remain unabated, it is still much sought out as a rearing ground, healthy 
alike for body and mind. 

W I L L I A M \ V I S H A R T . 

I take my rise where the mountains 

Blush with the kiss of dawn ; 
Where the mist of the sweating valleys, 

On the wings of the wind is borne. 

Where the moorland meets the mountain 
And the red-grouse whirr in tune ; 

1 hrough rocks as grey as the Judgment-day, 
My baby course is hewn. 

And ever with gathering volume, 

Ever with swifter now, 
The creamy foam of my peaty home 

I toss to the fields below. 

Down, far down, to the lowlands, 
Where the alders touch the sky, 

And my banks are the rabbits' play-ground, 
And the gulls and the pee-whits cry. 

But on, far on, in the lowlands, 

My swiftness does not tire ; 
And I toss my granite pebbles, 

Till they crackle like gorse afire. 

And ever I cut new channels, 

Ever I wider range, 
For my will is a wayward woman's, 

Changeless only in change. 

1 ill, like the wayward woman, 

Wayward however she be, 
1 find my lord and master, 

And rest in my love — -the sea. 

T. F, 

Zhe jfocbabevs of Hnotber Ba^. 



The Whipping Post and Jougs 
at Fochabers. 

HE following lines arc peculiarly descriptive 
of the lower reaches of the Spey ircm 
Beat o' Brig to Tugnet a distance of 
about nine miles, in which the fall of the 
river is about 150 feet : — 

Oft both slope and hill are torn 
Where wintry torrents down have borne, 
And heaped upon the cumbered land 
Its wreck of gravel, rocks, and sand. 

For seme miles below Boat o' Brig 
the right bank of the river is composed 
of old red sandstone conglomerate, rising 
to a height of from 60 to 90 feet above 
the river, being in a few spots almost 
perpendicular, but generally at a slope 
of about 45 degrees. 

This conglomerate is capped by a 
deposit of boulder clay, and near the 
mouth of the Burn of Aultdarg are seen 
many peculiar pinnacles of rock, showing 
the remarkable irregularity of erosion. 

The left bank of the river, from Boat 
o' Brig until within a short distance of 
the Bridge of Fochabers, consists of 
gravel and alluvial deposits, terminating 
in the fertile " haugh " of Dipple, im- 
mediately below which the escarpment 
of the old red sandstone becomes a 
prominent feature in the landscape 

66 The Gordon Book 

Below the Bridge of Fochabers the " wreck of gravel, rocks, and 
sand" becomes very evident, even to the most indifferent observer. 
Here the result of ages of erosion of the older rocks of the Grampian 
range is heaped up in the shape of vast ridges of boulders, torn from 
their matrix by the floods of countless ages. 

It is here that the river meets with its first real resistance since 
it left the wilds of Badenoch. During heavy floods the boulders 
brought down from the upper reaches accumulate in ridges, which are 
sometimes at an acute angle to the flow of the river. Eventually the 
stones composing these ridges become packed and consolidated, and 
when a heavy flood subsequently occurs the opposition to the current 
is so strong that the mass of water, taking the "line of least resistance," 
cuts an entirely new channel in a very short space of time. A few 
hours sometimes suffices to effect this, and thus it happens that a 
splendid salmon pool becomes in a short space of time almost the dry 
bed of the river. It will thus be seen that, with a river possessing the 
characteristics of the Spey, the difficulties of finding a suitable ferry 
are very considerable, and, except during the summer months, fording 
the river is out of the question. 

The right bank of the river, opposite the escarpment of the old 
red sandstone at Dipple, consists of a raised platform of gravel, covered 
with a deposit of alluvium, the maximum elevation above the river 
being 40 to 50 feet, and the width about a mile. 

On the northern edge of this platform stood the ancient town of 
Fochabers, a small portion of the town having been below the " brae," 
and close to the ferry known as the " Boat o' Bog." 

The town consisted of one long street, with several side streets 
of considerable length, and must have been much more picturesque 
in appearance than the modern town of the same name, which is about 
half a mile southwards, on the same plateau. As at present, the 
high road from Aberdeen to the north passed through Fochabers. 

It is very evident that the founders of the place did not choose 

The Fochabers of another Day 67 

the site for strategical reasons, for the left bank of the river is of 
considerable elevation, and offered a more secure position to the 

One of the earliest historic records in connection with Fochabers 
relates that, in 11 50, King David the First gave to the Priory of 
Urquhart certain lands, together with the fishings in the Spey, which 
belonged to the people of Fochabers. 

It is somewhat remarkable that the monks of old did not select 
Fochabers as a site for a priory or a monastery. Here was an ideal 
spot, a rich, fertile soil, an excellent climate, and a supply of salmon 
unequalled in the kingdom, and yet the only record of an ecclesiastical 
edifice is that John Hay of Tullyboyle, who in 1362 had a charter of 
the Bog of Gicht, founded a chapel at the Geth (Gicht) in honour of 
the Blessed Virgin and All Saints. Of this edifice not a trace remains, 
although it was doubtless situated close to the mansion of the " Gude- 
man of the Bog." 

The lands of Fochabers, in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, 
belonged to the lairds of Grant and their relations. In 139 1 Gilbert 
of Glencarnie exchanged with Dunbar, Earl of Moray, his paternal in- 
heritance for the lands of the two Fochabers, and in 1398 he sold them 
to the former proprietor, the said Thomas of Dunbar, Earl of Moray, 
for "/ioo sterling of the usuale monay of Scotland." 

In the agreement for the sale, dated at Elgin, 26th March, 1398, 
the seller is described as Gilbert of Glencherny, then " Lord of 
Fochabirris." In 1434 Sir Duncan Grant of Freuchie is described as 
being possessed of the two Fochabers. The appellation probably arose 
from the fact that part of the village was above the Brae, the other 
part below it. 

In 1598 the town was made a burgh of barony by James VI. of 
Scotland, but it docs not appear that the privileges and profits with 
which the inhabitants were thereby endowed resulted in any great 
stimulus to its trade. 

68 The Gordon Book 

In the early part of the eighteenth century the trade of weaving 
was actively carried on, and continued until the removal of the town 
to its present site. This took place towards the close of the century, 
the present Parish Church having been opened on the 29th October, 

When Dr. Johnson passed through Fochabers, in August, 1773, 
the village was described as being a poor place, many of the houses 
being ruinous, but it was noted as remarkable that the inhabitants had 
orchards well stocked with apple trees. 

The ruinous condition of the houses may have been owing to the 
approaching removal of the place to the new site, for in a very in- 
teresting account of the Rebellion of 1745, by Mr. James Ray, of 
Whitehaven, he described the town as consisting mostly of one long 
street, with several good houses. He observed that, as the Royal 
army passed through, there were " people of fashion " looking at 
them, "but not one person " to wish them success. 

This observation as to the anti-Royalist tendency is confirmed 
by the fact that, in a list of persons named as being concerned in the 
Rebellion, the number in Fochabers was 25, whereas Banff boasted of 
9, and Cullen 7. Of the number, about half a dozen were weavers, 
two were wigmakers, the rest salmon-fishers, blacksmiths, and so on. 
Among the names are found: — Clapperton, Hay, Innes, Bremner, 
Duncan, Forbes, which are familiar surnames in the district at the 
present time. 

For very many years Fochabers and the neighbouring districts 
were the strongholds of Roman Catholicism in the North of Scotland. 
The inhabitants could in safety cultivate their faith while the powerful 
influence of the ducal house of Gordon was on their side, and in later 
years, when the ducal house was no longer Catholic, times had changed, 
and the Presbyterial citations could be disregarded with impunity. 

The records of the Presbytery of Fordyce bristle with expressions 
of regret at the spread of Popery. In 1704 they record that there 

The only remaining House of Old Fochabers. 

This building, now used as a Fruit Room, stands in the Kitchen Garden of Gordon Castle. 

The Fochabers of another Day 69 

were 362 Papists above seven years of age in the parish of Bellie. 
At that time they seem to have been well provided with spiritual 
teachers, for in September, 17 16, the Presbytery of Elgin gave utter- 
ance to a loud wail at the wickedness of the Fochaberians. They 
complained that Mr. Alexander Smith kept a meeting-house in the 
town, and officiated as chaplain to the Marquis of Huntly ; that he 
prayed not for King George, but for the Pretender. They further 
bewailed the fact that Mr. James Gordon, Mr. Patrick Frazer, 
Mr. Reid, Mr. Douglas, and Mr. Irvine, priests, "do keep public 
meetings for worship in the town." These were a few of the grievances 
which the Presbytery "groaned under," and from which they prayed 
the authorities to deliver them. 

In that very interesting work of the late Captain Dunbar, " Social 
Life in Former Days'' there is published, in a chapter on " Cattle 
Lifting," a declaration by Hugh Thaine, messenger in Fochabers, 
which shows the condition of things in Strathspey at the close of the 
seventeenth century. The said Hugh having been sent to serve a 
citation on the Laird of Grant, as answerable for his clan having lifted 
cattle belonging to Sir Robert Gordon, was waylaid in Coolnakyle, 
together with his three men, Peter Morison, Fochabers ; John 
M'Edwart, Glenrinnes ; and Alex. Bogtoun. The poor fellows, after 
being robbed, were threatened with instant death, and were finally 
bound with ropes and left to their fate. They remained four days 
and three nights before they were relieved. After such treatment poor 
Hugh Thaine's declaration that, " by reason of sickness and unabilitie 
of body, haveing beine now sex or seven weeks wery unabell bv reason 
of the hard usage I mett with in Strathspey to goe the length of 
Edinburgh," may well be believed, and he prayed the Lords of the 
Privy Council to punish the evildoers. 

The records of the old town of Fochabers would, doubtless, show 
that many stirring scenes had been witnessed in its streets, but time 
and space do not permit of illustrating any of these. 

7 o 

The Gordon Book 

This short notice of the ancient town must close with a brief 
memoir of two of its natives, who deserve a word of recognition, their 
birthplace being within a stone's-throw of the spot where the Bazaar 
is being held. 

William flfoarsball, tbe Composer of 

W7ILLIAM MARSHALL was born in Fochabers in 1748, and 
* * was the third son of a large family, his parents being in humble 
circumstances. It is stated that he learnt the business of a clock- 
maker, and in another account of his life it is mentioned that he 
entered the service of Alexander, Duke of Gordon, at twelve years of 
age, and that he was able to attend school only for six months. He 
was possessed of great natural talent, and at an early age showed 
considerable skill in music. In personal appearance, Marshall was a 
well-built, handsome man, and an excellent athlete. Not many years 
after entering the service of the Duke of Gordon he was appointed 
House Steward, and resided at Gordon Castle tor many years, leaving 
in 1790 to occupy a farm near Fochabers. A year or two later he 
became tenant of the farm of Keithmore, Mortlach, and was also 
appointed factor to the Duke's estate. 

Marshall seems to have been a universal genius. He made con- 
siderable progress in the study of astronomy, mathematics, and 
mechanics. He was a capable architect, and land surveying was a 
favourite amusement. He has left as a splendid example of his 
mechanical skill, a clock, which he presented to the Duke of Gordon, 
and which is still at Gordon Castle. This clock indicates the days 
and months, the moon's age, the sun's declination, and other 

J2 The Gordon Book 

phenomena. Although an extremely busy man, he was an excellent 
angler, and understood the art of falconry. 

But it is as a musician that Marshall's name is so familiar to 
every lover of Scottish music. As a fiddler he was well-known in the 
north, before he became famous as a composer. On one occasion he 
was dining with some friends, when a blind minstrel came under the 
window and began to play. When he had finished, one of the com- 
pany told him that they had a " loon " among the party who was a 
learner, and as he (the blind fiddler) had delighted them, it was only 
right that the " loon " should give him a tune in return. The minstrel 
handed up his fiddle, which Marshall took, and played several Strath- 
speys. When asked what he thought of the learner's quality, the old 
minstrel earnestly replied — u Na, na, that's nae a 'loon's' playin': 
I'll wager a groat that's Marshall o' Keithmore ; there's naebody else 
hereaboots cud play like that." Marshall was a prolific composer of 
Strathspeys and reels, and thousands who have never even heard his 
name are fired with energy when fiddle or bagpipes give utterance to 
his compositions. Among his earlier compositions are the " Duke of 
Gordon's Birthday" and " Miss Admiral Gordon." To the latter Burns 
wrote the words, " O' a' the airts the wind can blaw." This air alone 
will last as long as Scottish melody has any claim to existence. 

Marshall's musical compositions, like Burns' poetry, seem to have 
been "thrown off" in fits of momentary inspiration, and were dis- 
tinctively characteristic of the man. After many years' occupation of 
the farm of Keithmore, Marshall retired to Newfield Cottage, Danda- 
leith, where he died on 29th May, 1833, in his 85th year. 

He was buried in the churchyard of Bellie, where also lie the 
remains of his wife, Jean Giles, to whom he was married at the age of 
25, and who predeceased him^by nine years. 

i'i'Hi'|i|i|i|i|i|i|i|i|i|i|i|i|iii|i|i|i|i|i|i|i|i|i|i|i |l|l|l|l|l|lil|l|l|l|l|l|l|l|l|l|l|l|lilIW 

|l|l|l|l|l|'l'|l|'|l|lill'|l|lll|IIWJTiTil|l|l|l|l|l|l|l|l|l|l|l|l|l|l|l|l| Iilil I 

(Beorge Chalmers, tbc Hutbor of "Galebonia/' 

T^OCHABERS has produced at least one notable writer, in the 
A person of George Chalmers. Born in Fochabers in 1742, lie 
was a grandson of George Chalmers of Pittensear, a small estate in 
the parish of Lhanbryde. 

He completed a course at King's College, Aberdeen, and after- 
wards studied law in Edinburgh. Having several relatives in America, 
he settled there in 1763, and practised as a lawyer in Baltimore. On 
the outbreak of the War of Independence, he espoused the Royalist 
cause, and eventually found it expedient to return to his native 
country. In 1786 he was appointed Clerk to the Board of Trade, 
a position which he held until his death in 1825. 

He was a member of the Royal and Antiquarian Societies, and 
was a voluminous writer. No fewer than thirty-three works stand to 
his credit. Some of his more important works were : — ■ 

" An Estimate of the Comparative Strength of Britain during the Present 
and Four Preceding Reigns." 

" A Life of Queen Mary." 

" Political Annals of the Present United Colonies, from their Settlement to 
the Peace of 1763." 

His magnum opus was " Caledonia, the Early History and Anti- 
quities of Scotland." The first volume of this work was published 
in 1807, and two more volumes were completed and published during 
his lifetime — one in 1820 and the other in 1824. The fourth and last 
volume was nearly read}- for the press at his death in 1825, an< 3 it 

74 The Gordon Book 

was published in 1826. This work is an exhaustive historical and 
topographical account of North Britain, from the most ancient to 
recent times. Dr. /Eneas Mackay, while admitting that the Cale- 
donia has not stood the test of time, and that it is below the standard 
of Camden's " Britannia," says that " to have composed what is, 
though never completed, the fullest account of the antiquities of a 
nation which has specially cultivated that department of history, is a 
merit not to be despised." There is no doubt that subsequent writers 
have borrowed from Chalmers without acknowledging their obligations. 
In closing this brief memoir, the hope is expressed that some 
worthy son of Fochabers may be found who is desirous of presenting, 
as a valuable addition to the library of the Institute, a copy of his 
books, the Caledonia in particular. 

John W. Webster. 

fZbe (Soubons as Campaigners | 
tit Hfrtca. 1 

TN the mighty task of annexing Africa, this country owes a deep debt 
to the House of Gordon. The campaign which has just finished, 
and in which five members of the Duke of Richmond's family took 
part, affords a useful opportunity for remembering the fact. It was a 
Gordon, namely, Robert Jacob Gordon, who delivered up South 
Africa to us in 1795, when he and his Dutch rag-tag and bob-tail army 
surrendered to our army; while in the north of the Black Conti- 
nent the world will never forget the inspiring work of "Chinese" 
Gordon of Khartum. The fates of the two men were curiously tragic. 
The Dutchman at the Cape, who was as much worried by slimness 
as we have been, committed suicide in 1795 ; while the fate which 
overtook " Chinese " Gordon at Khartum makes him pre-eminently 
the imperial martyr of the nineteenth century. I may note in passing 
that though nobody has settled "Chinese" Gordon's ancestrv, the 
probability is that he was descended from the Gordons of Binhall, 
near Huntly, who were tenants of the Dukes of Gordon. 

It would be very difficult to catalogue all the soldiers bearing 
the historic name of Gordon who have fought in Africa from first to 
last. In addition to Robert Jacob Gordon, who was a Dutchman, 
and who will always be remembered as the discoverer of the Orange 
River, one may recall as his namesake, Robert James Gordon, who 
was a captain in our navy, and paid the penalty of his hazard in South 
Africa with his life. He was the third son of Captain Gordon of 
Everton, near Bawtry, Doncaster. His plan was to explore the Blue 
Nile from Sennaar ; but he never got a start, for he died at Wilet 
Medinet, a few days' journey from Sennaar, 27th September, 1S22 — 

76 The Gordon Book 

" another victim to the melancholy list of those who have perished in 
the cause of African discovery." Again, there was x\dam Gordon 
(born 1750), a lieutenant in the Cape Regiment, who was the son of 
Adam of Griamachary, Kildonan. He was the uncle of Lord Gordon 
of Drumearn, and the grand uncle of the present Member for Elgin- 
shire, who with his cousin, Sir Thomas Gordon, has recently erected a 
bronze in memory of old Griamachary. The family has produced 
some excellent soldiers. 

I should have liked if time and space had permitted to name 
the Gordons who have figured in the various campaigns in South 
Africa and in Ashanti, a list that could be enormously swelled by deal- 
ing with the members of the clan who have fought from first to last in 
Egypt. I shall content myself here with naming only a few. 

One of the Dutch colonel's antagonists at the Cape was Hugh 
Mackay Gordon (who was born at Boston, U.S.A.). In the recapture 
of the Cape, in 1805, the Hon. Alexander Gordon (son of the Earl of 
Aberdeen), who fell at Waterloo, was A.D.C. to his uncle, Sir David 
Baird. He started out in the following year on the foolish expedition 
to Buenos Ayres, in which fell Patrick Gordon, Captain in the 87th 
Regiment, who seems also to have been drawn from the South African 
field force. This Patrick was the son of John Gordon, W.S., the first 
laird of Balmuir, who, in turn, was the son of Alexander Gordon, the 
laird of Auchleuchries. He may have been named after the great 
Russian general, although, so far as I know, he was not actually de- 
scended from him. Another member of the same family, namely, 
Captain John Maxwell Gordon of Bonnyton, Ayrshire, fought in the 
recent campaign. 

In giving the list of the officers who have figured in the terrible 
campaign of 1899-1902, I regret that I am unable in certain cases to de- 
tail their origin, but the mere list forms a contribution to the glorious 
history of the House. I do not forget the splendid achievements of 
the regiment which bears the name of the race. During the campaign 

The Gordons as Campaigners in Africa 77 

the Gordon Highlanders suffered very severely. They lost 18 officers 
killed, 28 wounded, while one succumbed to disease — -a total of 47. 
The depletion of the non-commissioned officers and men was equally 

The regiment sent out 3,407 (to say nothing of 476 volunteers). 
The total casualties of the entire force of 3,883 has been 608, namely, 
220 killed or died of disease, and 388 wounded. No fewer than 19 
officers, 3 colour-sergeants, 13 sergeants, 2 lance-sergeants, 8 
corporals, 14 lance-corporals, 3 drummers, and 177 privates have 
found a grave in South Africa. The figures may be tabulated thus: — 


1st Battalion (including reservists and 
3rd Battalion (Militia) reservists, 
and all drafts) l ,&33 

2nd Battalion 1,213 

3rd Battalion (Sitwell's Mounted In- 
fantry) 68 

Gordons' Mounted Infantry 293 

Volunteers (including men from the 
Six Vol. Battalions of Gordon 
Volunteers, London Scottish, and 
Liverpool Scottish) 476 

Total 3,883 220 

Of the 220 deaths in the regiment, about 158 of the men belong 
to Scotland, 76 being connected with Aberdeen and the north. Of 
the remainder, 57 were of English birth (though not necessarily of 
English parentage), and 5 were Irishmen by birth. 

During the campaign no fewer than 42 officers bearing the 
surname of Gordon and belonging to 29 different regiments, took part 
in the fighting, as follows : — 

EARL OF March, commanded the 3rd Royal Sussex Regiment. 
He began his career in the Grenadier Guards. Served in South Africa, 
1901-1902. His three sons also were at the front. 

LORD SettringTON, D.S.O., Captain, Irish Guards, served in 
South Africa in 1 899-1 900 as A.D.C. to Lord Roberts. He was present 
at Paardeberg, Poplar Grove, and Dreifontcin. 



82 belonged 

to the 

1st Battalion. 




2nd Battalion. 




Mounted Infantry. 

1 i 



Militia Reserve. 




1st V.B.G.H. 




4th V.B.G.H. 




5th V.B.G.H. 



6th V.B.G.H. 



London Scottish R.V 

78 The Gordon Book 

Hon. Esme Charles Gordon-Lennox, born 1875, entered the 
Scots Guards from the Militia in 1896. He served on the staff in South 
Africa as A.D.C. to Major-General Barrington Campbell. 

Hun. Bernard Charles Gordon-Lennox, born 1878, entered 
the Grenadier Guards in 1898. He fought at Poplar Grove and Drie- 

Lord Algernon Gordon-Lennox, Grenadier Guards (brother 
of Lord March), took part in the Egyptian campaign of 1882, and was 
present at the battle of Tel-el-Kebir. He served in South Africa, 1899- 

A. B. GORDON, Captain, King Williamstown Guard. It is very 
difficult to identify these Colonial officers. 

A. E. GORDON, Captain, Roberts' Horse. 

Alexander Theodore Gordon, Lieutenant, ist Gordon High- 
landers. He is the only son of Mr. A. M. Gordon of Newton, Aberdeen- 
shire, and was born in 18S1. He joined the ist Gordons on 30th June, 

ALISTER Eraser GORDON, D.S.O., Captain in the Gordon High- 
landers. Born in 1872, he is the son of Mr. William Alexander Grant 
Gordon, brother of General Sir Benjamin Lumsden Gordon, who, in turn, 
is the son of James Gordon of Croughly, for many years an officer in the 
Gordon Highlanders. The Croughly family have produced a great many 
soldiers — no fewer than five members of the family having fought in the 
recent campaign. These are the four cousins — General Redmond Gor- 
don, 15th Hussars ; Captain Neil Eraser Gordon, Royal Artillery, and his 
brother, Aiister, Gordon Highlanders ; their cousin, Captain Bertie 
Gordon Clay, of the 5th Dragoon Guards ; and his sister's husband, 
Captain A. W. Gordon of the Dublin Fusiliers. Captain Aiister Gordon 
was educated at Inverness. He joined the Black Watch in October, 1890, 
being transferred to the Gordons in the following month. He fought in 
Chitral, 1895 ; in Tirah. 1897-8 ; and in Ashanti (as adjutant of the 
Central Africa Regiment), 1900, for which he got the D.S.O ; and in 
South Africa, 1901. 

Alexander James Marriott Gordon, Lieutenant, ist Inniskil- 
ling Eusiliers. Born in 1879, he entered the Inniskillings from the 
Militia on 18th October, 1899, a week after the famous ultimatum. 
He took part in the relief of Ladysmith, and was present at the 
battle of Colenso. He also took part in the operations in the Transvaal 
east of Pretoria, July-November, 1900, including the actions at Belfast and 

The Duke of Richmond and his Three Guardsmen Grandsons. 

This picture shows His Grace the Duke of Richmond and Gordon seated. Behind him stand his 
three grandsons — from left to right, Lord Settrington, D.S.O., Captain in the Irish Guards ; the Hon. 
Esme Gordon-Lennox, Lieutenant, Scots Guards, and the Hon. Bernard Gordon-Lennox, Lieutenant, 
Grenadier Guards. All of them are wearing the South African Medal, and Lord Settrington is wearing 
the D.S.O. The picture is reproduced by the courtesy of James Russell & Sons, Baker Street, London. 

The Gordons as Campaigners in Africa 79 

Alexander Weston Gordon, Major, 1st Dublin Fusiliers, 
severely wounded at Colenso, 15th December, 1899. He was also com- 
mandant at Potchefstroom. He was born in 1859, and joined the Dublin 
Fusiliers, 1878. He fought in Afghanistan, 1880. lie married in 1892 
Miss Katherine Fanny Clay, whose mother, Beatrice Gordon (born 
at Ivybank, Nairn), is the sister of General Sir Benjamin Lumsden 

CHARLES AUSTIN Gordon, Imperial Light Horse, accidentally 
wounded at Johannesburg, 17th December, 1900. He is the son of Dr. 
Charles Gordon, Pietermaritzburg (son of James Gordon, Ballater), who 
married as his first wife, Bertha, daughter of Michael Francis Gordon, XV. 
of Abergeldie. 

Charles Gerald Gordon, served as Captain of Steinacher's 
Horse. Born in 1868, he is the son of Colonel Charles Vincent Gordon 
(1829-97), the brother of the present laird of Abergeldie. I may note 
that his elder brother, Cosmo Huntly Gordon, Major of the Buffs (born in 
1855), went through the Zulu war, and was A.D.C. to the Governor of 
the Straits Settlements, 1880-188 1. 

Charles William Eric Gordon, 2nd Lieutenant, 2nd Black- 
Watch, which he joined in October, 1899, exactly a week after the out- 
break of the war. He was born in 1878. 

Edward Ian DRUMEARN Gordon, Lieutenant, Royal Scots Fusi- 
liers He was born in 1877, ar >d joined the Royal Scots in 1897. He 
took part in the relief of Ladysmith, notably the operations on Tugela 
Heights, February 14-27, 1900. 

Edward Robertson Gordon, Captain, 9th Lancers, wounded in 
the advance on Kimberley, February 14-16, 1900. Born in 1864, he joined 
the 2nd Dragoon Guards from the militia in 1885, and transferred to the 
9th Lancers in 1896. He took part in the relief of Kimberley, including 
the actions at Belmont, Enslin, Modder River, and Magersfontein. He 
also took part in the operations in the Transvaal, including the battle of 
Diamond Hill, and in the operations in Orange River Colony. 

EVELYN BOSCAWEN GORDON, Lieutenant in the Northumberland 
Fusiliers, which he joined from the volunteers, in May, 1900. He was 
born in 1877, and took part in the operations in the Transvaal west of 
Pretoria, August-November, 1900. 

HON. FREDERICK GORDON, Major, Gordon Highlanders. He is the 
second son of the Judge, the late Baron Gordon of Drumearn (a life peer, 
created 1876, died 1879), and was born in 1 861. He joined the 91st Foot 

80 The Gordon Book 

(ist Batt. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) in January, 1 88 1, was trans- 
ferred to the 49th (Berkshire) in February, and to the Gordons in 1881. 
He went through the Egyptian campaign of 1882-4, and was present at 
Tel-el-Kebir, and the Soudan expedition of 1889. He was D.A.A.G. in 
South Africa, and took part in the relief of Ladysmith. He caught small- 
pox in the transport Orotava, on which Lord Kitchener came home, 12th 
July, 1902. 

Francis Lewis Rawson Gordon, Lieutenant, 2nd Gordons. 
Born in 1878, he is the son of Mr. Francis Frederick Gordon, who is 
son of the late Lord Francis Gordon, and grandson of the 9th Marquis 
of Huntly. He joined the Gordons in March, 1900, and served in South 
Africa, 1899-1901, taking part in the operations in Natal, March-June, 
1900, including the operations at Langs Nek, and in the operations in the 
Transvaal, east of Pretoria, July-November, 1900. His cousin, Laurence 
(Major, R.A. ), also fought ; and their young kinsman went through the 
latter part of the campaign, namely, 

Granville Cecil Douglas Gordon, Lieutenant, 2nd Scots 
Guards. He is the only surviving son ol Lord Granville Gordon, and 
nephew of the Marquis of Huntly. Born in 1883, he entered the Guards 
from the militia, September, 1901, and went to the front in that year. 

HUGH P. GORDON, 2nd Lieutenant, 4th Battalion of the Connaught 
Rangers, served in the Benin expedition, 1899. 

H. H. GORDON, Captain, Cape Mounted Rifles. 

James Guy Birnie Gordon, Manchester Regiment. Born in 1881, 
he was in the militia at first. He fought in South Africa, 1900-1, and was 
slightly wounded. 

James Redmond Patrick Gordon, C.B., 15th Hussars, comes of a 
very military family, the Gordons of Croughly. Born in i860, he is the 
only son of General Sir Benjamin Lumsden Gordon (born 1833), who is 
the son of James Gordon, for many years in the Gordon Highlanders. 
Sir Benjamin's younger brother, George Grant Gordon (1835-82) was in 
the Bengal Artillery. His great-uncle, General William Alexander Gor- 
don (1769-1856), began his career in the Gordons, and afterwards trans- 
ferred to the 50th Regiment. General Redmond Gordon joined the 15th 
Hussars in 1879, went through the Afghan war, 1880 ; the Transvaal 
campaign, 1881 ; the Bechuanaland expedition, 1884-5 J the Burmese ex- 
pedition, 1887; the expedition against the Jebus (Lagos), 1892; and the 
Ashanti expedition, 1895-6. During the recent campaign he commanded 
the 3rd Cavalry Brigade, and got a C.B. He rode the same charger for 
sixteen months during the campaign. He is very keen on hunting. 

The Gordons as Campaigners in Africa 81 

John Edgar Gordon, Lieutenant, ist Worcester Regiment, went 
to the front, 1902. Born in 1877. he joined the regiment in 1900. 

John Frederick Strathearn Gordon, 2nd Lieutenant, Royal 
Scots, served in South Africa, 1899-1902. He was born in 1882. 

JOHN MAXWELL Gordon, Captain, reserve of officers, second in 
command of the Montgomeryshire Imperial Yeomanry, went out to the 
front with the Yeomen. Born in 1862, he was originally in the 12th 
Lancers. He is the only son of John Taylor Gordon of Nethermuir, 
Aberdeenshire, and of Blackhouse, Ayrshire. 

JOSEPH Maria Gordon, Colonel, commanding the South Australian 
forces. The son of Carlos Pedro Gordon of Wardhouse, Aberdeenshire, 
he was born in 1S56, and entered the Royal Artillery, from Woolwich 
in 1875. He became lieutenant staff-instructor Rifle Volunteer force, 
South Australia, December, 1881. He took part in the formation of a 
permanent artillery force in South Australia, and was appointed lieutenant 
in command, September, 1S82. He became captain, August, 1883 ; 
major, May, 1885; D A.A.G., December, 1885; and hon. A.D.C., Mav, 
1886; commandant of the South Australian military forces, 1893 ; lieu- 
tenant-colonel, 1892 ; colonel, 1895 ; inspector of military stores for the 
Australian colonies, 1S98-9; brigadier-general, 1901. He was awarded 
a C B. for his South African service. He visited his sister, Mrs. Lumsden, 
at Clova House, four or five years ago. 

Laurence George Frank Gordon, D.S.O., Major, 53rd Battery, 
Royal Field Artillery. Born in 1864, he joined the Artillery in 1883. He 
is the eldest son of Colonel George Grant Gordon, C.V.O., and grandson 
of Lord Francis Arthur Gordon, sixth son of the 9th Marquis of Huntlv. 
Three members of the Huntly family fought in the war, including 
Francis and Granville Gordon already mentioned. 

Leonard William George Gordon, 2nd Lieutenant, 2nd Bed- 
ford Regiment. Born in 1879, he entered the Bedfordshire Regiment 
from the local militia force in South Australia. He was wounded at 
Thaba Nchu, 14th December, 1900. 

Louis Augustus Gordon, India Staff Corps. Born in 1857, he 
began his career in the 59th Regiment (now the 2nd Battalion Fast Lan- 
cashire Regiment) in January, 1877, and in December joined the Bombav 
Staff Corps. He was employed in the transport services in the Afghan 
war and in South Africa, where he became Railway Staff Officer. 

NEIL Fraser Gordon. Captain, Royal Artillery, is the second son 
of Mr. W. A. G. Gordon, Inverness, and brother of Captain Alister Gordon 

1 1 

82 The Gordon Book 

already mentioned. He was born in 1869, and entered the artillery in 
1889. He took part in the defence of Ladysmith. 

ROBERT GORDON, D.S.O., Captain, Queensland Contingent of 
Mounted Infantry, being attached to the 1st Gordons. He served in the 
Tirah campaign. He was wounded in the action of Doom River, and got 
the D.S.O. Born in 1866, he is the son of Mr. James Gordon, Riviera, 
Brisbane, Queensland. 

Robert Arron Gordon, Captain, 1st Royal Scots. He is the 
brother of Captain \V. E. Gordon, V.C., of the Gordon Highlanders. He 
fought all through the war until November, 1 901, when he was invalided 
home for dysentery. He left the service in February, 1902. 

Stewart Douglas Gordon, Lieut Col., India Staff Corps. He 
was born in 1856, and joined the 72nd in 1874, being transferred to the 
Bengal Staff Corps four years later. He has held some important staff 
appointments in India. He served on the staff in South Africa. He 
went through the Afghan war, and the Egyptian campaign of 1882, being 
present at Tel-el- Kebir. 

VIVIAN GORDON, 2nd Lieutenant, Gordon Highlanders. Born in 
1 88 1, he entered the Gordons from the militia in April, 1900. He was at 
the front, 1 899-1901, and took part in the operations in the Transvaal. 
He is a son of Mr. Frederick Gordon, of Bentley Prion-, Stanmore, the 
owner of the well-known hotels in London. 

WILLIAM A. GORDON, Captain, 6th Battalion Worcester Regiment. 
He is now A.D.C. to Sir W T alter Hely Hutchinson, Governor of the Cape. 

WILLIAM Engleson GORDON, V.C., Gordon Highlanders, was 
dangerously wounded at Magersfontein. He saw a great deal of fighting 
He took part in the advance on Kimbcrley ; the operations in the Orange 
Free State, including Paardeberg ; the actions at Poplar Grove, Dreifon- 
tein, Houtnek, Vet River, and Zand River (February-May, 1900) ; the 
operations in the Transvaal (May-June, 1900) ; in the Transvaal, includ- 
ing Belfast and Lydenberg (July-November) ; and in Cape Colony, ncrth 
and south of the Orange River. He won the Victoria Cross on 1 ith July, 
1900 for his great gallantry during the action near Leehoehoek (or 
Doornbosch Fontein), near Krugersdorp, as follows : — A party of men, 
accompanied by Captains Younger and Allan, having succeeded in drag- 
ging an artillery waggon undercover when its horses were unable to do so 
by reason of the heavy and accurate fire of the enemy, Captain Gordon 
called for volunteers to go out with him to try to bring in one of the guns. 
He went out alone to the nearest gun under a heavy fire, and, with the 

The Gordons as Campaigners in Africa 83 

greatest coolness, fastened a dragrope to the gun, and then beckoned to 
the men, who immediately doubled out to join him in accordance with his 
previous instructions. While moving the gun, Captain Younger and three 
men were hit. Seeing that further attempts would result only in further 
casualties, Captain Gordon ordered the remainder of the party under 
cover of the kopje again, and, having seen the wounded safely away, himself 
retired. Captain Gordon's conduct under a particularly heavy and most 
accurate fire at only 850 yards range, was "most admirable, and his manner 
of handling his men most masterly ; his devotion on every occasion that 
his battalion has been under fire has been remarkable."' These are the 
words of the official account of his bravery. Captain Gordon is the son 
of the late Dr. Gordon, of Bridge of Allan, who was of Irish origin, I 
believe. His brother, Captain R. A. Gordon, fought with the 1st Royal 
Scots during the campaign. Captain Gordon, who was born in 1866, 
joined the Gordons from the militia in 1888. He went through the 
Chitral Campaign, 1895. 

Lieutenant Lachlan Gordon Duff, 1st Gordons. Born in 1880, 
he is the son of Mr. T. D. Gordon Duff of Park and Drummuir. He joined 
the Gordons in August, 1899, a few weeks before the outbreak of the war. 
He took part in the advance on Kimberley, including Magersfontein, 
Paardeberg, Poplar Grove, Dreifontein, Houtnek, Vet River, Zand River, 
and so on. He performed the duties of an intelligence officer. He was 
enthusiastically received by the tenants of Park at a luncheon given by 
his father at Park House, on 24th Jul}', 1902, and by these on the Drum- 
muir estate, on 26th July. Mr. Gordon Duff represents the old family, 
the Gordons of Park, who were came from the Gordons of Cairnburrow, 
descended from " Jock " of Sundargue. 

Robert Gordon Gordon -Gilmour, D.S.O., Major, Grenadier 
Guards. Born in 1857, he is the eldest son of Mr. Henry Wolrige Gordon 
of Hallhead and Esslemont, Aberdeenshire, and assumed the name of Gil- 
mour on succeeding to the estate of Craigmillar on the death of his grand- 
uncle, Walter James Leith Gilmour, 1887. He entered the 94th Foot 
(now the 2nd Battalion of the Connaught Rangers) from the militia in 
1878, and was transferred to the Grenadier Guards in the following year. 
He went through the Zulu war of 1879, and the Soudan expedition with 
the Guards' Camel Corps, 1884-5. He was assistant private secretary to 
the Minister for War, 189 1-2. He commanded the 2nd battalion of the 
Grenadier Guards in South Africa from 30th May to 1 ith October, 1900. 
He took part in the operations in the Orange Free State, April-November, 
J 900, including the actions at Biddulphsberg. 

84 The Gordon Book 

H. GORDON-TURNER, Captain in Dordrecht District Volunteer 

JOHN GORDON WOLRIGE-GORDON, Major, 1st Argyll and Suther- 
land Highlanders, is the second son of Mr. Wolrige-Gordon of Esslemont, 
and was born in 1859. He entered the 105th Foot (2nd Battalion York- 
shire Light Infantry) in January, 1879, and was transferred in the follow- 
ing March to the 93rd (now the 2nd Battalion Argyll and Sutherland). 
He went through the Tirah campaign, 1897-8. He took part in the battles 
of Modder River, Magersfontein, Paardeberg, Dreifontein, Poplar Grove, 
and the operations in the Transvaal and Orange River Colon)' in 1900. 
He was commandant at Piennars Poort and at Balmoral. 

I shall be very pleased to receive information about the origin of 
any of these officers whom I have not identified. 

J. M. Bulloch. 
118 Pall Mall, S.W.